State V. Electric Utility Company

When the state of South Dakota spent several million dollars to fight the Grizzly Gulch fire, it decided that the taxpayers of the state deserved a thorough investigation into how it was caused. While the fire was still burning, that investigation began.

Through eyewitness accounts and the analysis of 15 experts of various specializations, the fire was proven to have started in an area about the size of a kitchen table just below high voltage power lines. Trees growing through the lines had sparked the fire. The state was able to recover all of the costs spent on the fire, and eventually, private landowners who also lost property were able to recover as well.