On June 21, 2019, Judge William F. Highberger of the Los Angeles Superior Court named Lieff Cabraser partner Lexi J. Hazam as one of Plaintiff’s Lead Counsel for Individual Plaintiffs in the Woolsey Fire Cases relating to the devastating 2018 fire that burned more than 96,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Judge Highberger noted that appointing a leadership group for the cases was necessary due to the complexities of the Woolsey fire mass tort case. Initial bellwether trials are slated to start in January of 2020.
On December 20, 2018, Lieff Cabraser filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court on behalf of Los Angeles residents Lisa Brown, Mirjam Kostichek, Malibu resident Anthony Stearns d/b/a Radfish Malibu against Southern California Edison Company and Edison International for negligence, trespass, inverse condemnation and the violation of the California Public Utilities and Health and Safety codes in relation to the 2018 Woolsey Fire that ravaged over 96,000 acres in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties in November of 2018. The lawsuit has been coordinated into a larger Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding (JCCP) in Los Angeles County.
The fire, one of the largest and most destructive in Los Angeles history, tore through Malibu as well as parts of the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of West Hills and is alleged to have been started by equipment owned and controlled by SoCal Edison near its Chatsworth substation.
Read a copy of the December 20, 2018 Woolsey Fire complaint.
Southern California Edison reported a “disturbance” in a circuit as well as outages near the Woolsey fire just two minutes before the fire began. SoCal Edison submitted a report to the Public Utilities Commission to alert it to the event, which could be connected causally with the fire. The fire, which broke out on November 8, 2018, burned over 98,000 acres of land, killed at least 3 people, and destroyed at least 1,600 buildings and other structures in an area that is now approximately the size of the city of Denver. The fire was named the Woolsey Fire because of its origination point near Woolsey Canyon Road in Ventura County.
Our thoughts and our hearts go out to our neighbors, colleagues, and friends in northern California, especially those who have lost their lives, homes, and businesses in this newest series of horrific fires.
It is with deep gratitude that we recognize the safety personnel and first responders who worked tirelessly to bring the fires under control and provide aid during the extremely difficult time of the fire’s duration throughout the affected areas.
Lieff Cabraser currently represents plaintiffs who suffered losses in the 2017 North Bay Wine Country fires, where Elizabeth Cabraser and Lexi Hazam serve in leadership roles in lawsuits against PG&E as Chairs of the Class Action Committee and on the Individual Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, as well in litigation against Southern California Edison on behalf of those who whose homes, businesses, and lives were devastated by the Thomas Fire and mudslides in Southern California in late 2017 and early 2018, where Ms. Hazam and Robert Nelson serve as Co-Lead Counsel. We are now investigating a wide range of legal claims on behalf of those displaced, injured and otherwise affected by this latest series of fires.