Family Sues Southern California Utility Over Wildfire Death

Woolsey Fire caused by live transmission lines


A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind homes during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. A fast-moving wildfire in Southern California has scorched a historic movie site recently used by the HBO series “Westworld” and forced numerous celebrities to join the thousands fleeing flames that have claimed homes and prompted the total evacuation of the celebrity enclave Malibu. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The brothers of a 73-year-old man who died in a California wildfire last year are suing Southern California Edison for wrongful death and negligence.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, blames the utility for the death of Dr. Alfred deCiutiis, whose body was found after the Woolsey Fire erupted last November. Edison declined to comment.

The blaze killed three people and burned 1,600 homes and other buildings in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The lawsuit, filed by three brothers of the retired physician, alleges that Edison caused the fire by failing to shut down transmission lines during gusty Santa Ana winds to prevent downed lines from sparking the blaze.

However, the fire’s cause remains under investigation.

A similar lawsuit against Edison was filed in February by 100 property owners and renters.

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