Nevada Energy Sues Law Firm Over Fatal Crash Probe

January 25, 2012

Nevada’s dominant electric utility is suing a law firm to try to block circulation of a letter seeking witnesses and evidence from a North Las Vegas neighborhood where a crash involving a NV Energy boom truck killed the wife of a Nellis Air Force Base airman and injured two other Air Force wives.

The civil lawsuit filed Jan. 18 in state court in Las Vegas accuses the law firm Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury and Standish Ltd. of “improper and unethical” conduct, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The lawsuit says the firm is jeopardizing NV Energy’s right to a fair trial with a broad media campaign aimed at establishing a pattern of careless driving by company workers.

Clark County District Judge Joanna Kishner has scheduled a hearing next week on a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

Bruce Woodbury, a partner in the law firm, said Monday that the two sides were in talks on an agreement that could make the Jan. 30 hearing moot.

The letter in question was sent once to residents in a limited area, Woodbury said, and there was no plan to send another.

Attorney Howard Russell, representing NV Energy, declined to comment.

NV Energy alleges the “request for help” letter contained “prejudicial editorial comments” derived from postings to web pages of Clark County media outlets that reported about the Nov. 4 crash.

Tayler Council, 20, died of her injuries and two other women in the Dodge Caliber were taken to a Las Vegas hospital after the crash with the heavy utility truck at Centennial Parkway and Losee Road.

The truck driver wasn’t hurt.

Police said witnesses reported the truck failed to stop at a traffic signal, but no summonses were immediately issued.

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