One lawsuit was filed against Rocky Mountain Power on September 11, 2012, on behalf of more than 100 property owners who say their homes and businesses were damaged by a fire caused by the utility. According to the Ventura County Star (9/11/12), authorities ruled the fire was caused by arching between power transmission lines that were too close together. More than 50 homes were destroyed and one life was lost in the fire.
Rocky Mountain Power has said it would offer cash settlements to landowners affected by the fire but did not admit fault. In addition to homeowners whose property was affected by the fire are cattle ranchers who were forced to sell herds because of the loss of ranch land for the cattle to live.
Meanwhile, an appeals court in California told 34 homeowners they could jointly sue their insurance company over a 2009 fire. According to the Los Angeles Daily News (9/17/12), the plaintiffs alleged breach of contract and unfair business practices against the California FAIR Plan Association (CFPA) for either denying claims or underpaying for damages.
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In situations in which a utility company has caused a fire that resulted in property damage, homeowners and property owners may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company responsible. Furthermore, if an insurance company is not acting in good faith on the part of its policyholders—either by denying legitimate claims or by unreasonably delaying payment of claims, policyholders may be eligible to file a lawsuit against their insurance company.