BASTROP (September 12, 2013)—A Central Texas utility, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, has filed a $35 million lawsuit against a tree-trimming company over wildfires in 2011 that destroyed nearly 1,700 homes.
The suit names Asplundh Tree Expert Co. of Willow Grove, Pa.
Officials with Asplundh, which had a contract to maintain vegetation along Bluebonnet power lines, declined comment Thursday.
Bluebonnet has been sued by more than 50 homeowners in Bastrop County, 30 miles east of Austin, whose homes burned.
A Texas A&M Forest Service investigation found that the Labor Day 2011 wildfire started when strong winds knocked down trees that crashed into overhead power lines, causing sparks.
A Bluebonnet spokesman says the utility, which seeks repair costs and plus legal fees, sued to protect ratepayers.