Oregon Wildfires Spark Class Action Lawsuits: Victims Blame Negligent Utilities and Downed Power Lines for Devastation

By B.N. Frank

As wildfires continue to wreak havoc on the West Coast, there’s been no shortage of finger pointing. In California, some blame climate change, whereas others blame poor forest management. In Oregon, a class action lawsuit was filed against utility companies alleging that downed power lines caused the devastation.

From Oregon Live:

PacifiCorp faces class action lawsuit for downed power lines that allegedly ignited devastating Oregon wildfires

In a harbinger of legal action yet to come from Oregon’s catastrophic wildfires, three Pacific Northwest law firms have filed a class action lawsuit against Pacific Power and its parent company, Portland-based PacifiCorp, alleging negligence in the catastrophic fires ignited during a Labor Day windstorm, some of which were sparked by downed power lines.

The lead plaintiffs, Jeanyne James and Robin Colbert, are a couple from Lyons who lost their home, their garage, four cars and all their personal belongings during the Labor Day fires in the Santiam Canyon.

The suit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims that despite being warned of extremely critical fire conditions and a historic high-wind event, PacifiCorp left its power lines around the state energized. As the forecasted winds came on in full force, they toppled power lines, igniting trees, brush and grass.

“Defendants’ energized power lines ignited massive, deadly and destructive fires that raced down the canyons, igniting and destroying homes, businesses and schools,” the suit alleges. “These fires burned over hundreds of thousands of acres, destroyed thousands of structures, killed people and upended countless lives.”

PacifiCorp spokesman Drew Hanson said Wednesday, “As a company, we do not comment on pending litigation.”

Read full article

While we’re on the subject of downed power lines causing incendiary situations, a downed power line in Stockton, CA caused hundreds of electric utility “Smart” Meters to simultaneously explode in 2015. Of course, “Smart” Meter fires and explosions aren’t exclusive to California (see 1, 2, 3). California homeowners and their insurance agents did sue utility companies though after their “Smart” Meters caught fire.

Other undesirable and dangerous problems have been identified with these meters as well (see 1, 2, 3). If you can “opt-out” of your utility “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – you may want to consider doing so ASAP.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image: Pixabay

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