Lawsuit Against Liberty Utilities for Mountain View Fire Damage Filed by Mono County, Antelope Valley Fire Protection District, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, and Bridgeport Indian Colony
Bridgeport, Calif. — On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, Mono County, Antelope Valley Fire Protection District, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc., and Bridgeport Indian Colony filed suit against Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power, for injuries and damages related to the Mountain View Fire, which burned through 20,385 acres and destroyed or damaged nearly
100 homes and close to 50 other structures in the Walker area of Mono County. The suit was
filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, where the complex litigation courts have recently handled
complex wildfire litigation.
The lawsuit alleges Liberty Utilities negligently managed its utility infrastructure, including failing to upgrade its aging infrastructure and failing to shut off power during known and predicted high wind events. The lawsuit describes legal liability based on negligence, inverse
condemnation, nuisance, and other legal and statutory causes of action.
“Mono County joins its community in seeking to repair and rebuild in the aftermath of the Mountain View Fire, which devastated nearly 100 homes and caused significant injury, damages and the loss of a life,” said Mono County Board Chair Jennifer Kreitz. “Liberty Utilities is legally responsible for the damage to public resources and public infrastructure, and it’s important to our community to receive reimbursement for these lost public resources so that the burden of responding and rebuilding does not fall on our taxpayers.”
In addition to Mono County, the Antelope Valley Fire Protection District suffered damages as a
result of and due to fighting the fire. The Bridgeport Indian Colony suffered damages, and the
Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc. lost an entire clinic building, which served the community’s
health care needs – a crippling blow to the community during a global pandemic.
While the cause and origin of the fire is under an official investigation, the outside law firm,
Baron & Budd, has obtained information and evidence that points to specific Liberty Utility
infrastructure as the cause of the fire.