Ventura Joins Parties Suing Utility For Thomas Fire

The City of Ventura has joined a growing number of parties suing Southern California Edison over the Thomas Fire last year. The lawsuit claims that the utility is responsible for causing the fire that began December 4, 2017.

According to Cal Fire, the Thomas Fire burned 281,893 acres (440 square miles), destroying 1,063 structures and damaging 280 more. Damage estimates now exceed $2 billion, including $220 million in suppression costs.

The City of Ventura’s lawsuit was filed in Ventura County Superior Court. It accuses Southern California Edison with “negligent and improper operation of the power lines and related equipment.” The city is seeking $4 million in damages.

Suits have already been filed against the utility by over 300 parties, including suits over the catastrophic mudslides that followed the Thomas Fire in January 2018. The mudslides killed 21 people. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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