Blame for two recent tragedies is being placed squarely on Southern California Edison. Not only is the utility facing legal action for allegedly causing a massive wildfire, it’s also being blamed for causing tragic mudslides that killed at least 20 people.
Trouble on Two Fronts
The fires burned nearly 300,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Known as the “Thomas fire,” it was the biggest wildfire in California history. It destroyed more than 1,000 structures and a firefighter died trying to battle the blaze.
The mudslides were just as horrible, with dozens of people still missing and a large number of homes destroyed.
Property owners and are claiming that Edison utility equipment caused the fires. Family members of mudslide victims claim that the slides were a byproduct of those fires – blaming Edison for those as well. They believe that the only reason the mudslides occurred was the burning of vegetation that kept the soil at bay.
Edison, according to Bloomberg News, has already lost more than $6 billion in market value due to uncertainty among investors. They are worried that the company will be forced to pay the bill for the damage caused by the wildfires and mudslides. More than 100 people have taken legal action against PG&E Corp., a Northern California utility blamed for fires in that part of the state.
Bloomberg reported that Edison could have to pay as much as $7 billion in liability for the fires – and possibly much more than that for the mudslides. Gerald Singleton of California Fire Lawyers told Bloomberg that Edison could be held liable under California’s strict law of inverse condemnation even if an investigation shows the utility was not negligent.
If you suffered losses due to the Thomas fire or ensuing mudslides, California Fire Lawyers may be able to help. Please contact us to learn more.