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 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
x

Check Also

Fire Law Headlines: New York and Miami-Dade Follow-Up

There are two cases in the Fire Law headlines today, both being follow-ups of cases we covered previously. In New York, the Supreme Court for Oswego County has ruled that individual taxpayers lack standing to challenge a tax increase imposed by a fire district.

RI Local Again Forced to Sue Town For Relief From Anti-Union Discipline

A Rhode Island IAFF union president who is facing termination for threatening his fire chief with a vote of no confidence, has filed suit claiming his termination constitutes retaliation for his union advocacy, his whistleblower activities, and for exercising his protected free speech rights. Captain David M. McGovern, currently the Acting Union President of Tiverton Firefighters IAFF Local 1703, filed suit in US District Court.