A judge is set to hand down his verdict after a civil trial over the 2014 fire in the Perth Hills region that destroyed 57 homes.
The class action was brought by law firm Slater and Gordon on behalf of 189 residents affected by the blaze in Parkerville, Stoneville and Mt Helena, which was sparked by a termite-ridden power pole that fell over.
While the pole was on private land, it was connected to infrastructure owned by state-run utility Western Power.
The victims’ counsel Lachlan Armstrong argued the pole had only four per cent good wood remaining at its base when it toppled and Western Power had a responsibility to ensure it was safe for the supply of electricity.
He said the corporation or its contractors repeatedly failed to properly check the pole’s condition when working on cables and other equipment, and if and when they did, the checks were “hopelessly incompetent”.
Mr Armstrong said the company had also failed to notify the property owner of a need to have the pole properly inspected.
The civil trial was heard last year by Justice Rene Le Miere and was streamed live on the internet in a first for Western Australia.
The woman who owned the property on which the pole stood was also a respondent.