A group of 170 homeowners and businesses whose properties were damaged or destroyed in the Woolsey Fire filed a mass lawsuit in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties alleging Southern California Edison ignited the fire with overhead electrical equipment located at the Rocketdyne facility in Simi Valley, according to a statement by Alexander Robertson IV of law firm Robertson Associates, LLP, which is one of four law firms to file the case.
The destructive Woolsey Fire burned 96,949 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures, causing evacuations of more than 250,000 people in Southern California.
NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, photographer Kevin Foley and Oscar-winning dound engineer Chris Jenkins were named as public figures included in the group filing the lawsuit.
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The press release issued by Robertson cites CAL Fire as stating that the Woolsey Fire started at approximately 2:24 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2018 at the Rocketdyne facility and further cites SCE sending an "Electric Safety Incident Report" to the California Public Utilities Commission about a circuit out relay.
The lawsuit also alleges that SCE was responsible for another fire that stated in the Thousand Oaks area about an hour before the Woolsey Fire due to sparks falling from SCE's power lines.
"These fires are happening more frequently and with increasing destruction and loss of life," Robertson said in the statement. "Edison and its shareholders should be held solely responsible for incinerating thousands of homes and businesses and should not be allowed to pass the costs of their negligence onto the ratepayers."
When asked for comment on the lawsuit, Southern California Edison responded, "At this time, SCE is not commenting on any lawsuits associated with the Woolsey Fire, as an ongoing investigation is underway by CALFIRE and Ventura County Fire. SCE is fully cooperating in their investigation."