Trial Over 'Mountain View Fire' Damage Begins Wednesday In LA - Watch Gavel-to-Gavel via CVN

Posted by David Siegel on Mar 5, 2024 1:32:34 PM


stock image of a wildfire

Los Angeles, CA - A trial begins Wednesday in California state court seeking compensation for numerous property owners from an electric utility company accused of responsibility for a widespread wildfire, and the proceedings will be webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

The “Mountain View Fire” swept through Mono and Alpine Counties in 2020, scorching 20,385 acres of land and damaging or destroying nearly 100 homes, according to court records. The property owner plaintiffs accuse electrical company Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power, of failing to deactivate key power lines ahead of a predicted wind storm.

Liberty has argued that appropriate steps were taken ensure their power grid was safe and that deactivation of power lines would have had a detrimental impact on first responders and emergency facilities like hospitals - the effect of which would have been even worse during an emergency like a wildfire.

Wednesday’s trial, which involves consolidated claims from numerous property owners and insurance companies, will take place without a jury before Judge Kenneth Freeman in Los Angeles County. CVN’s live and on-demand coverage will commence at the start of opening statements and continue for the duration of the proceedings and include all witness testimony. 

The case is similar to another wildfire-related trial currently being covered by CVN in Oregon state court, where electric utility PacifiCorp is facing nearly identical accusations of failing to deactivate power lines ahead of a windstorm.

A Portland jury found the company liable last year for property damage, and a series of “mini-bellwether” trials is currently playing out to determine damages for select groups of class members.

The California case is captioned Mountain View Fire Cases, case number JCCP5228 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.


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Topics: California