CALIFORNIA—Bernie Bischof, the owner of Old World Restaurant in Huntington Beach, filed a negligence lawsuit on Tuesday, June 16, for the underground transformer explosion during the Oktoberfest Festival in 2019.
According to the negligence lawsuit filed, Bischof suffered serious burns and brain damage. The lawsuit faults the utility company, Southern California Edison, for not taking the appropriate measures to upkeep maintenance. As stated by the authorities in a press conference, the fire explosion splattered heated mineral oil utilized to cool the transformers and possibly ignited the blasts. The four members in Bischof’s family who were injured in the incident are also taking part in the lawsuit: Markus Bischof, Josef Bischof, Cyndie Kasko and Jason Kasko.
“Our thoughts go out to Mr. Bischof and his family,” spokesman Robert Villegas stated. “While Southern California Edison is aware of the lawsuit filed by Mr. Bischof in relation to the incident that took place in October 2019, SCE cannot discuss the specifics of pending litigation.”
On October 5, 2019, a series of explosions took place amid the yearly Old World Village Oktoberfest festival. The underground vault had been comprised of three transformers but only one exploded. Firefighters said even more people could have been hurt during the explosions if Bischof did not evacuate guests from a nearby patio after noticing the unusual odor 40 minutes prior to the actual explosion.
Bischof was thrown back from an entrance way by the intensity of the initial blast. Alongside Bischof and his family members, two firefighters and two restaurant employees were also minorly injured due to the explosion.
“Sadly, the transformer explosion was preventable,” the suit claims. “It resulted from years of shoddy maintenance, cursory and ineffective visual inspections and a refusal to upgrade aging equipment, practices that reflect SCE’ s company-wide policy of placing profits over public safety.”