EXCLUSIVE: Southern California Edison is blamed for ‘failing to maintain its overhead electrical facilities in a safe manner and perform vegetation management’ in first Woolsey Fire lawsuit

Friday, November 16, 2018
By Paul Martin

The suit filed is brought by Michael Henthorn, 58, a Malibu resident whose home was destroyed in the fire
The case is expected to attract hundreds of plaintiffs, according to court papers obtained by DailyMail.com
In the documents, Henthorn’s lawyers claim that SCE is required to make sure its power lines and utility poles can withstand winds of up to 92 mph,
It is also required to trim back trees and vegetation within 10 feet of their equipment.
Lawyers claim that SCE ‘failed to take adequate precautions to prevent its equipment from sparking the Woolsey Fire’

By RYAN PARRY
DAILYMAIL.COM
16 November 2018

Power firm Southern California Edison is being sued for the devastating Woolsey Fire in a case that’s expected to attract hundreds of plaintiffs, according to court papers.

The case is the first to be brought over the wild fires which killed three people, destroyed more than 500 buildings and ravaged almost 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura County.

The documents, obtained by DailyMail.com, say the fire began ‘directly beneath SCE’s 16kV transmission power lines’ on the site of the Santa Susana Field Lab near Simi Valley.

Lawyers claim that SCE is to blame for the fire for ‘failing to maintain its overhead electrical facilities in a safe manner’, ‘failing to perform vegetation management in accordance with applicable regulations’ and ‘failing to shut down the Big Rock 16kV circuit to prevent a catastrophic wildfire during the Red Flag weather conditions that preceded the Woolsey Fire.’

The suit filed at Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday is brought by Michael Henthorn, 58, a Malibu resident whose home was destroyed in the fire. His lawyers say many more are set to join his suit.

Henthorn is suing SCE for the costs of repair, loss of use of his home, loss of wages, attorneys fees, treble damages for the destruction of trees on his property, punitive damages, damages for emotional distress, and interest.

‘It is unfathomable that our community has been ravaged again by a deadly wildfire,’ said Alexander Robertson, one of Henthorn’s attorneys. ‘Edison has admitted its equipment was responsible for at least one of the ignition points for the Thomas Fire, and we believe that Edison again is responsible for causing the Woolsey Fire.

‘Edison gave all of us warning it was going to shut off the power in order to protect our community, but that never happened. How many more times does this have to happen?’

The court documents say Edison has $1 billion worth of wildfire insurance.

The Rest…HERE

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