Apr. 11—More than a dozen insurance companies representing more than 40 Malden and Pine City residents, at least four business entities and the town of
The lawsuit was filed
The state report found the fire, known as the Babb Road Fire, started when a tree branch fell into Avista power lines. The tree was diseased, damaged and infested with insects.
“A primary cause of wildland fires ignited by utility lines is direct or indirect contact between a tree and a power line,” the
The insurance companies are seeking damages for an amount to be determined in court.
Avista representatives said Monday the company is aware of the lawsuit and will participate and cooperate with the legal process. Avista does not comment on pending litigation.
The Babb Road Fire broke out
A Red Flag Warning in effect for that Monday predicted gusts of 40 to 50 mph, according to the lawsuit. The fire was ultimately pushed southwest toward
Citing those conditions, the lawsuit states that Avista should have deenergized power lines in high-risk areas.
“Avista had a duty to operate and maintain its overhead electrical lines in a safe and responsible manner,” the lawsuit reads. “Among Avista’s duties in operating its overhead electrical lines was its duty to perform vegetation management and to timely identify and remove any hazard trees that threatened its electrical lines.”
The fire burned approximately 80% of homes in the towns of
The insurance companies suing Avista include
The insurance companies are represented by attorney
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