Utility Co. Inks $370M Settlement In Calif. Wildfire Fight

By Joshua Alston (December 4, 2012, 7:34 PM EST) -- Par Electrical Contractors Inc. and The Davey Tree Expert Co. agreed Monday to pay $370 million to San Diego Gas & Electric to settle allegations they contributed to the ignition of 2007's destructive wildfires in San Diego County, according to the utility company.

The electrical contractor, which is owned by Quanta Services, will pay $190 million by week's end, while the tree-trimming company already has paid $170 million, according to a representative for SDG&E. SDG&E argued Par and Davey Tree contributed to the wildfires for failing to maintain electrical poles and surrounding vegetation properly.

Par replaced and made several modifications to...

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