The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Appeals court rules KPUD is a 'person,' can be sued


Klickitat PUD (KPUD) General Manager Jim Smith says that a Washington Court of Appeals ruling on Thursday does not mean the utility has been legally determined to be liable for the 2010 fire near Lyle.

“The ruling was just the court’s finding that the utility as a public corporation is a ‘person’ and therefore can be sued,” Smith says. “And our position is, that’s mistaken.”

Smith’s comments and a close review of court documents make it clear that recent media reports were inaccurate when they stated the court’s ruling means KPUD must pay for the 2010 fire.

Smith says state law clearly establishes that a public corporation does not have the status of a “person,” as...

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