Southern California Edison Co. will pay the federal government $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit seeking damages from a 2007 wildfire that burned parts of the Sequoia National Forest, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The lawsuit alleged that negligence by the Rosemead electric utility caused the fire.
“Poorly maintained hardware on a power distribution line owned by Edison caused an electrical fault, and molten material fell to the ground below, igniting dry vegetation,” said a statement issued by Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.
The fire, known as the James Fire, burned 1,350 acres, mostly within the Sequoia National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada. The forest is best known for its 33 groves of giant sequoia trees that grow at lower elevations.
Edison, in agreeing to the legal settlement, did not admit any negligence, wrongful conduct or liability. In a statement Edison called the settlement “an appropriate resolution of this dispute.”
For its part, the government did not concede that its claims and allegations against Edison are not well founded.
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