Lieff Cabraser is investigating reports that the May 11, 2022 fire in Laguna Niguel Orange County that destroyed at least 20 homes was caused by circuit activity on Southern California Edison power lines in the area. The Coastal fire broke out in a coastal canyon near the Pacific Ocean in an upscale section of south Orange County, and hundreds of residents fled as the flames swept into a gated community of multimillion-dollar homes overlooking the ocean. CalFire’s official probe is still in its early stages, but SCE issued an initial report to state regulators saying that their information “reflects circuit activity occurring close in time to the reported time of the fire.”
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, many of California’s most destructive fires have been caused by power lines damaged by winds, including the Paradise inferno and the massive 2017 blazes in wine country. “SoCal Edison faced more than half a billion dollars in fines from the California Public Utilities Commission last year related to several big fires, including the Thomas and the Woolsey” fires.
Our hearts go out to our friends, neighbors, and all first- and other responders facing this ongoing disaster.
Lieff Cabraser represents numerous plaintiffs in the Thomas Fire and Woolsey Fire cases in Southern California. Victims of those fires and related mudslides have recovered approximately $1 billion to date for their losses and injuries. In Northern California, Lieff Cabraser represented victims of the North Bay and Camp Fires as creditors in the PG&E bankruptcy; in 2019, we helped guide negotiations with PG&E that culminated in an historic $13.5 billion trust settlement on behalf of wildfire victims.
We continue to investigate a wide range of legal claims on behalf of those displaced, injured and otherwise affected by these and other utility-caused fires.