Oregon Utility Liable for Wildfire Damages

In a case said to highlight the risk posed by wildfires to electric utilities, an Oregon jury found Pacificorp, an electric utility owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, liable for damages running as high as $1 billion because it negligently failed to cut power to its 600,000 customers during a windstorm over Labor Day weekend.

The resulting fires were among the worst disasters in Oregon's history.  Nine persons were killed, more than 1,875 square miles were burned, and more than 5,000 homes were destroyed.  Total damages have yet to be determined, but it is believed they will total in the billions.