Utility company files lawsuit seeking $45 M for defectively manufactured bushings

USA: Nevadan utility company NV Energy has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $45 million in damages against Trench-France and Trench-Canada, both blamed for equipment failures that caused multiple catastrophic explosions at electric substations and power plants throughout the state over the last nine years.

The lawsuit alleges that the companies’ negligently produced and made “material misrepresentations” about the capacity of their bushings — insulating devices used to “protect persons and equipment from high-voltage electricity exceeding 50,000 volts.”

Failure of the bushings, allegedly caused by manufacturing errors and extreme heat, were blamed for causing at least six explosions and fires at NV Energy substations and power plants between 2011 and 2017, costing millions of dollars worth of damage and requiring replacement of all Trench-manufactured bushings at a cost of $35.8 million.

The lawsuit alleges that the bushings — marketed in a 2003 catalog as able to “last the life of your power transformer” — were “negligently and defectively manufactured,” contributing to at least four explosions and fires at NV Energy substations since 2015.

After the initial set of explosions, the utility began a replacement program for the bushing devices, which included a monitoring system that detected out of 15 transformers, 32 of the 118 bushings produced by Trench were “degraded.”

In addition to the $45 million sought in damages, the lawsuit is seeking prejudgment interest, the cost of the lawsuit and any other compensation deemed just and proper by the court.

Source: The Nevada Independent