Woolsey Fire Lawsuit
Investigators have determined that Southern California Edison (SCE) equipment started the Woolsey Fire in 2018. This means that SCE is liable for damages caused by the Woolsey Fire under inverse condemnation law in California.
Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers is actively retaining Woolsey Fire victims.
You may be eligible for financial compensation if you had property damaged or destroyed by the Woolsey Fire, or if you or a loved one were injured or killed by the Woolsey Fire. Call us now at 310-826-8082 for a free consultation, complete the contact form on this page.
Woolsey Fire Cause
Investigators have determined that equipment associated with SCE’s Big Rock 16kV circuit sparked the Woolsey Fire. Investigators stated that Santa Ana winds caused a steel pole’s guy wire to arc, connecting with an energized conductor, causing “heated material” to fall onto plants below, sparking a fire.
Investigators stated a second fire started about a quarter mile away near a “communication line” which was connected to the same steel pole and got energized by the incident. These two fires then merged into the Woolsey Fire, according to investigators.
The 2018 Roadrunner Fire started in the same area when SCE’s power lines arced into heavy vegetation and trees just one hour before the Woolsey Fire started. The area was under a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service.
SCE, despite the Red Flag Warning and a nearby fire starting just an hour before the Woolsey Fire started, failed to shut off power in the area the Woolsey Fire began in.
SCE is required to ensure that their power lines and utility poles can withstand winds of up to 92 mph, that all vegetation with 10 feet of many types of power equipment is cleared and that all vegetation within four to 10 feet of power lines, depending on voltage, is cleared.
SCE is also required to regularly inspect its equipment to make sure it is safe and reliable.
We believe the Woolsey Fire began because SCE’s failure to maintain its equipment, failure to maintain vegetation surrounding its equipment and failure to de-energize power lines during Santa Ana winds and Red Flag Warning conditions led to its equipment failing due to high winds, igniting vegetation which was too close to its equipment.
Our experienced, battle-tested wildfire team has been handling California wildfire claims for a decade and already has thousands of California wildfire clients retained. We know wildfire claims inside out, and we know how to maximize your recovery.
We can recover Woolsey Fire damages against SCE based on numerous causes of action, including:
Negligence is failing to apply the same level of care that a reasonably careful entity would in the same situation. Acting can be negligent, as can be failing to act.
A reasonably careful utility would adequately maintain its equipment as well as the vegetation near its equipment. We believe a reasonably careful utility would de-energize power lines during Santa Ana winds and Red Flag Warning weather conditions after power lines started a nearby fire an hour beforehand.
We believe SCE was negligent by failing to:
- Inspect their equipment often enough
- Make sure their equipment could withstand foreseeable Santa Ana winds
- Clear vegetation which was too close to their equipment
- De-energize local power lines after a nearby fire started an hour beforehand
- Adequately maintain their equipment
We believe the Woolsey Fire was the direct result of the negligence of SCE.
Article One, Section 19 of the Constitution of California states that property owners must be paid just compensation when their property is taken or damaged for a public use. California courts have ruled that this applies to property damaged by wildfires started by both public and private utilities.
Direct condemnation is when the government sues someone to take their property from them. Inverse condemnation is named what it is because the plaintiff is the property owner in inverse condemnation.
We can recover Woolsey Fire damages based on inverse condemnation since it appears the Woolsey Fire was caused due to the negligence of SCE, a public utility.
We believe that SCE’s negligence caused the Woolsey Fire to ignite, eventually wrongfully occupying the land of property owners, thus trespassing upon their properties. Property owners did not grant permission for SCE to start a fire which would enter their properties.
We believe SCE’s negligence caused a fire to obstruct property owners from the free use of their own property, invaded their right to use their property and interfered with their enjoyment of their property, causing a nuisance.
We believe SCE’s negligence caused a fire to affect a substantial number of people within the general public at the same time, creating conditions which affected numerous people in a manner which would annoy or disturb a reasonable, ordinary person, causing a nuisance.
Property owners in California are liable under premises liability for any damages caused by a dangerous condition they knew or should have known about on their property. We believe SCE knew or should have known their equipment in the area the Woolsey Fire started couldn’t withstand strong winds and had vegetation too close to it, constituting a dangerous condition which could foreseeably lead to a fire.
Violation Of Public Utilities Code § 2106
This code states that public utilities are liable for any damages resulting from their unlawful behavior. We believe SCE failed to uphold their duties as prescribed by several codes and orders by failing to maintain their equipment and the vegetation around it.
Violation Of Health & Safety Code § 13007
This code states that any entity which allows a fire to start and escape to another’s property is liable to the property owner for any damages the fire causes. We believe SCE negligently allowed their equipment to start the Woolsey Fire, which then escaped to many other properties, damaging them.
What An Attorney Can Recover For You
We can recover many different things for you in a Woolsey Fire lawsuit, including but not limited to:
- The cost to repair or replace damaged, destroyed or lost personal or real property
- The loss of use, benefit, goodwill and enjoyment of personal or real property
- Loss of wages, earning capacity, business profits, proceeds or business interruption losses
- Double or triple the value of timber, trees or underwood injured by the fire
- General damages for loss of quiet enjoyment of property, emotional distress, mental anguish, inconvenience, disturbance, annoyance, worry and fear
- Medical bills in the event of an injury
- Exemplary and punitive damages
- Wrongful death in the event of a death
- Evacuation expenses
- Loss of agricultural product or crops
Woolsey Fire Lawyers
Our aggressive, strong Woolsey Fire attorney team has vast experience in handling wildfire claims and the utilities know they’re going to have to pay out, big time, when they see our names on a lawsuit.
Best of all, we offer a no fee promise meaning we won’t charge you a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you. You can’t lose money by retaining our services; you can only obtain money!
We are actively retaining Woolsey Fire victims. Call us today at 310-826-8082 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to a financial recovery.