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Utility company fined for electrocution of family

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- The Riverside Press Enterprise reports that Southern California Edison was fined $16.5 million Thursday for the January 2011 electrocution of three members of a San Bernardino family.

The newspaper says the Public Utilities Commission fined Edison a total of $24.5 million for the electrocution and a second incident later in 2011 in which high winds uprooted trees and knocked down power facilities, leading to electrical outages for 440,000 customers for up to eight days in the San Gabriel Valley.

The newspaper says Edison negotiated the fines with the commission.

The paper cites a commission document released Thursday as saying that Edison previously reached an undisclosed civil settlement with surviving family members of Steve and Sharon Vego and Jonathan Cole, as well as a neighbor.

The newspaper reports that an Edison spokeswoman said the utility would not accept questions from the media.

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