Malibu winery sues SoCal Edison for sparking deadly Woolsey Fire

It’s the 3rd suit alleging utility sparked the blaze that caused $5B in property losses

Feb.February 01, 2019 12:00 PM
Southern California Edison CEO Kevin M. Payne and the Woolsey Fire burning near Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills (Credit: Flickr and Edison International)

A Malibu winery is the latest to accuse Southern California Edison of sparking November’s deadly Woolsey Fire.

Cielo Farms, a winery and event space, along with a pair of homeowners, filed a suit claiming damages caused by the fire on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to the L.A. Daily News. The suit alleges the utility company failed to shut down electrical equipment prior to a forecast of strong Santa Ana winds, which later sparked the fire.

In December, a group of 170 filed a similar suit against SoCal Edison. The Woolsey Fire killed three people and caused an estimated $5 billion in real estate losses when it swept through northwest L.A. County and Ventura County in November, and completely destroyed over 1,600 structures. Another group sued weeks earlier.

SoCal Edison reported 347 equipment-related fires between mid-2014 and the end of 2017, but the state collectively fined it and California’s two other major utility companies just nine times during that period.

The state’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, filed for bankruptcy this week as it faces potential liabilities for wildfires of up to $30 billion.

Cielo Farms claims that the Woolsey Fire destroyed 3,000 grapevines, numerous structures, and 1,400 trees on its property.

The other plaintiffs are John David Knight and Dorothy Louise Blowers, who restored the Oboler Complex property, a 100-acre estate designed by celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was completely destroyed in the blaze. They had finished restoring it three weeks before the fire. [LA Daily News] — Dennis Lynch

Related Articles

Sheldon Adelson and his new property flanked by two of his other homes (Credit: Getty Images)

Sheldon Adelson is betting big on the Malibu housing market

Clockwise from top left: 12921 Marlboro Street, 22102 Pacific Coast Highway, 21536 Pacific Coast Highway, 820 N. Roxbury Drive and 334 S. Burlingame Avenue (Credit: Redfin)

Here are the priciest resi listings in LA County last week

Candy Spelling and her home on 21500 block of Pacific Coast Highway (Credit: Getty Images, Redfin)

Spelling is a-selling: Candy Spelling lists Malibu estate after former home breaks record

The five priciest listings in L.A. County last week

Here are the 5 priciest residential listings in LA County last week

Jan Koum, Ron Meyer and the Malibu house (Credit: Getty Images, Westside Estate Agency, iStock)

Malibu mansion’s $100M sale continues LA’s hot summer of luxury real estate deals

Vadim Shulman and his house on Pacific Coast Highway (Credit: World Jewish Congress, Zillow)

Ukrainian tycoon lists Malibu mansion for nearly twice what he paid

Move over Mountain of Beverly Hills, Scott Gillen is listing “The Malibu Series” for $500M

Michael Landon and the home in Malibu (Credit: Getty Images)

Widow of TV star Michael Landon scores big profit on Malibu home