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Walmart, Tesla pause in legal fight over fiery solar panels

SeattlePI.com Friday, 23 August 2019
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart's lawsuit against Tesla over fiery rooftop solar panels is being sealed by the court and both companies say they look forward to addressing all issues.

Walmart sued Tesla for "gross negligence" Tuesday, saying that the electric car company's energy division installed solar panels that went up in flames on its store rooftops.

In joint statements Friday, the companies said they look forward to re-activating the panels once both sides are certain that all concerns have been addressed.

"Together, we look forward to pursuing our mutual goal of a sustainable energy future," said the statements. "Above all else, both companies want each and every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely."

Neither company would say if the lawsuit had been dropped, but New York State Supreme Court records show it was "returned for correction," and it was not accessible online Friday.

Walmart said fires broke out at seven stores between 2012 and 2018, causing millions of dollars in damage. One location in Ohio had to be closed for eight days, Walmart said in the complaint.

Inspections found that several of Tesla's solar panels were broken and that wires were hanging out, causing a fire hazard. In its lawsuit, Walmart said Tesla Inc., based in Palo Alto, California, engaged in "widespread, systemic negligence" and "failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating, and maintaining its solar systems."

Walmart said it had deals with Tesla Energy, formerly known as SolarCity, to install and maintain solar panels on 244 Walmart stores.

In May of last year, Walmart said it demanded that Tesla disconnect all the solar panel systems it had installed. But Walmart said another fire still occurred at a California store, even though the panels had...
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News video: Tesla Is Being Sued By Mega-Retailer Walmart

Tesla Is Being Sued By Mega-Retailer Walmart 00:43

Business Insider reports Walmart is suing electric carmaker Tesla over solar roof contracts. Walmart claims Tesla was negligent in operating and managing 244 solar roof contracts it had with the retailer. In at least 7 cases Tesla's negligence resulted in fires, resulting in store closings and...

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