Lawsuits Could Be Costly for New Mexico Electric Cooperative

November 5, 2013

Lawsuits filed over the 2011 Las Conchas Fire could end up costing the Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative millions of dollars.

But General Manager Ernest Gonzales tells The Santa Fe New Mexican it’s too soon to know how much the co-op will have to pay and how the costs will affect its members.

The co-op, Tri-State Generation and an Espanola tree service are being sued by more than 50 property owners and insurance companies over damage caused by the fire.

The pueblos of Cochiti and Jemez also have filed claims against the co-op and the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire was started by a downed power line, and plaintiffs blame the co-op for not keeping the power line easement clear of trees. They also blame the Forest Service for not granting the co-op a wide enough easement.

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