Hawaiian Electric shares slide after Maui County sues for damages over deadly wildfires

An aerial image shows a red roofed house that survived the fires surrounded by destroyed homes and buildings burned to the ground in the historic Lahaina in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui in Lahaina, Hawaii on August 10, 2023.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

Maui County on Thursday sued Hawaiian Electric for damages over the deadly wildfires that have claimed more than a hundred lives and resulted in billions of dollars in estimated property losses.

Shares of Hawaiian Electric fell 6% in afterhours trading. The electric utility said it will suspend its quarterly dividend to shore up its cash position in the wake of the fires.

Maui County said Hawaiian Electric inexcusably left its powerlines energized despite a warning from the National Weather Service that high winds from Hurricane Dora and drought conditions on the island created a high fire risk.

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