1) Wasn’t the Las Conchas Fire an Act of God? How could Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative be responsible?

The Las Conchas Fire was not started by natural causes. It was caused by Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative’s power lines.

2) I have heard about the State of New Mexico Forestry Division’s report finding that electrical lines started the fires? Can the report be admitted into evidence at trial?

The testimony of investigators concerning their findings and of eye witnesses concerning what they saw is admissible.

 3) What am I entitled to recover?

People who suffered losses are entitled to recover for lost and damaged property, lost businesses and income, physical injuries, emotional distress for being in danger from the fire, losing irreplaceable items with sentimental value such as family photos and heirlooms, and alternative living expenses.  We will seek punitive damages at trial.

4) Are my rights affected by any insurance that I received?

Insurance companies frequently put what are called “subrogation” provisions in insurance policies. Subrogation is the right to recover from a wrongdoer amounts the insurance company has paid to a policyholder. Insurance companies with subrogation rights can seek reimbursement from Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, but only for those amounts and claims they paid to policyholders. Most people with insurance were under-insured and would be entitled to recover loss amounts not covered by insurance and for suffering emotional distress, which is not covered by insurance.