Bushfire victims have launched a $200 million law suit against a NSW-owned energy company for allegedly failing to follow up a tree-trimming order.
More than 200 homes were destroyed and about 200 were damaged as fires tore across Winmalee and Springwood in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney last October. Businesses and property were also destroyed.
The blaze is alleged to have started after a tree at a private property on Linksview Road in Springwood fell in windy conditions on October 17 and struck a power line, sparking a fire that quickly grew out of control.
Maddens Lawyers senior partner Brendan Pendergast claims the tree was identified by Endeavour Energy inspectors as "hazardous" in July and a notice served on the property owner ordering them to trim the tree or make it safe.
No action was taken, it's alleged, and Mr Pendergast claims state-owned Endeavour Energy is liable because it had ultimate responsibility to ensure the order was complied with.
About 150 people affected by the fire have so far joined a class action to sue the energy infrastructure firm in the NSW Supreme Court.
"We believe there are five to six hundred people affected and we believe that the total quantum of loss is going to be in the order of $200 million," Mr Pendergast told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.
"We are seeking compensation for anyone who suffered an injury - and that could be a psychological as well as a physical injury.
Mr Pendergast's firm successfully secured $40 million in compensation for victims of the deadly 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria.
It also successfully brought four class actions for victims of 2009's Black Saturday fires in Victoria.
A directions hearing is expected to be held in the Supreme Court in August.
The case, if it proceeds, could last two years.
The fires are currently the subject of a coronial inquiry.
"Endeavour Energy understands the devastating impact bushfires have on people and property and are committed to doing what we can to keep people safe," an Endeavour Energy spokesman told AAP.
"We understand the NSW Rural Fire Service preliminary investigations indicate that the Linksview Rd, Springwood fire was started by a large tree falling across power lines during high winds."
NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts declined to comment before the coronial inquest findings.