Boeing sued for negligence in wildfire that devastated Malibu

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Published: February 6, 2019 8:45:52 AM

A group of homeowners sued Boeing along with Edison International, the parent of the utility they say was at fault in igniting the fire.

The Woolsey fire killed 3, burned about 100,000 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures in and around Malibu. (Representational photo))

Boeing Co. was accused of negligence tied to a wildfire that tore through Malibu, California, in November and that purportedly started on the grounds of the nearby, disused Rocketdyne testing site.

A group of homeowners sued Boeing along with Edison International, the parent of the utility they say was at fault in igniting the fire, on Tuesday in Los Angeles. They claim Boeing failed to properly manage the vegetation on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and allowed the fire to spread to surrounding neighborhoods.

The Woolsey fire killed 3, burned about 100,000 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures in and around Malibu. Southern California Edison has said an electrical substation on the Boeing property suffered an outage two minutes before the fire was first reported.

Boeing said in a statement that it is fully cooperating with investigations by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, and the California Public Utilities Commission.

“Security and fire personnel stationed at Santa Susana immediately responded when the fire was first reported and also promptly notified firefighting agencies,” the company said. “Upon arrival, the county and municipal fire jurisdictions established incident command over the firefighting activities.”

SCE said it won’t comment on any lawsuits associated with the Woolsey fire because of ongoing investigations by Cal Fire and Ventura County Fire. “SCE is fully cooperating in their investigation,” Gloria Quinn, a spokeswoman for Edison International, said in an emailed statement.

The case is LaPlante v. Southern California Edison, 19STCV03419, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.

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