Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Attorney: Utilities' negligence led to New Mexico wildfire

Two electric utility companies did nothing to prevent one of the largest fires in New Mexico recorded history and later showed no remorse, an attorney for more than 300 plaintiffs told jurors Tuesday. In closing arguments, plaintiffs' attorney Tom Tosdal said the Las Conchas Fire could have been averted had Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative Inc. responded to potential dangers by doing inspections and managing potentially hazardous vegetation along its power lines. Jemez Mountains Electric attorney Al Green said many of the co-op's top executives are from the area and cared very much about the effects of the fire. Green also dismissed claims that the co-op ignored industry standards. He said the utility had a tree-trimming program at the time of the fire that was much like those adopted by rural co-ops across the country...more

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