On December 4th 2017, a Ventura County wildfire grew and quickly spread into a firestorm that consumed over 280,000 acres. Containing the fire took the then-largest mobilization of firefighters for any given wildfire in California history. 8,500 firefighters from all over the United States and other countries helped to combat what would later be declared as a national disaster. Over 1,063 structures were destroyed, most of which were homes, before the fire was finally extinguished on January 12th, 2018.
The Thomas Fire was almost immediately followed by massive mudslides in Montecito, triggered by a combination of heavy rainfall and the fire-denuded landscape. The fire had burned so intensely that the soil of the affected area was turned into a dense, water-repellent surface. On January 9th 2018, massive flows of mud and debris traveling at 20 miles per hour demolished homes and businesses in the area. Over 400 homes were damaged or destroyed, and 21 people were killed. The mudslides also barricaded U.S. Highway 101 for ten days, restricting access for business owners, employees, residents, and customers traveling in or out of the area.
With co-counsel, Lieff Cabraser filed a class action lawsuit in LA Superior Court against Southern California Edison Company and Edison International for the massive destruction caused by the Thomas Fire and the deadly mudslides that followed. The suit alleges that SCE did not properly and safely maintain its electrical infrastructure in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, a failure which resulted in the deaths of 23 people and millions of dollars in property and business damages.
Lieff Cabraser: Securing Justice for Californians Since 1972
As these fires repeatedly erupt throughout our state, we continue to try to secure justice and restitution for injured Californians and their property and livelihoods. Lieff Cabraser has a long history of successfully championing the rights of those injured or who have lost property and businesses as a result of fires and other environmental disasters. Several of Lieff Cabraser’s attorneys live in the affected communities.