Hawaiian Electrical Calls Maui County’s Wildfire Lawsuit ‘Irresponsible’


Hawaiian Electrical HE.N mentioned on the lawsuit filed towards it by the county of Maui was “factually and legally irresponsible,” pointing to the county’s accountability within the Hawaii wildfires.

The corporate’s shares jumped 30.2% to $12.58 in premarket buying and selling. The inventory has misplaced greater than half of its worth because the Aug. 8 wildfire.

The county of Maui, Hawaii, final week sued Hawaiian Electrical, accusing the facility firm of appearing negligently by failing to close down its tools regardless of warnings that hurricane winds may knock energy strains down, sparking wildfires.

The county mentioned downed energy strains began the wildfires that destroyed the historic city of Lahaina earlier this month, killing no less than 115 individuals and displacing tons of extra.

The corporate mentioned a morning hearth on Aug. 8 attributable to energy strains that fell in excessive winds was subsequently reported “100% contained” and later declared “extinguished” by the Maui County Fireplace Division.

It mentioned one other afternoon hearth began in the identical space greater than six hours in any case of its energy strains in West Maui had been de-energized, which couldn’t be contained by the fireplace division and unfold uncontrolled towards Lahaina.

“We have been shocked and disillusioned that the County of Maui rushed to courtroom even earlier than finishing its personal investigation,” mentioned Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electrical.

The S&P International Scores on Thursday downgraded Hawaiian Electrical to ‘B-‘ from ‘BB-‘, citing the corporate’s probably inconsistent entry to the capital markets within the aftermath of the wildfires.

Hawaiian Electrical shares plunged on Friday to their lowest stage since 1984 because the lawsuit raised investor worries over the monetary well being of the utility that has paused dividend payouts.

(Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru, Enhancing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter)

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