Recovering clients' losses for the 2017 Southern California Edison wildfires

2017 Southern California Edison Thomas Fire Lawsuits

Recover All of Your Wildfire Losses

Our attorneys have filed lawsuits on behalf of survivors of the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides.

Our clients include homeowners and renters who lost their homes, property, and personal items in the disasters. We also represent businesses affected by the fire and mudslides.

The lawsuits allege that that SCE was negligent in failing to properly inspect and maintain its electrical equipment and power lines, which ultimately caused the Thomas fire to ignite in two separate locations. Specifically, the victims assert that SCE broke the law in the way it constructed, inspected, repaired and maintained its power lines and electrical equipment, and that it was foreseeable given the heightened wildfire threat, strong Santa Ana winds, and effects of a long California drought, that such a fire was likely.

With the lawsuits, our clients hope to recover money to make them whole, and compensate them for the loss of value to their properties, evacuation and temporary housing costs, emotional trauma, and loss of income.

Questions? Find out why you should file a claim.

For a free consultation with an Southern California Edison Wildfire Attorney, fill out the form to the right, or call 805-220-7871.

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805-220-7871

Southern California Edison Admits It Caused the Thomas Fire

According to a press release issued on October 30, 2018, Southern California Edison admitted that it believes its electrical equipment caused the Thomas Fire.

Southern California Edison states in the press release that its “electrical equipment was associated with an ignition near Koenigstein Road in Santa Paula — one of at least two origin points for the Thomas Fire.” The company also said that while CAL Fire has not finished its investigation, that “
witnesses have reported that a fire ignited along Koenigstein Road near an SCE power pole, and SCE believes its equipment was associated with this ignition.”

In an official statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Southern California Edison reiterated its belief “that its equipment was associated with [the Koenigstein Road] ignition.”  It also provided additional detail, acknowledging that “the Thomas Fire burned over 280,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 1,063 structures, damaged an estimated 280 structures, and resulted in two fatalities.”

Why Bring a Lawsuit?

Southern California Edison’s Reported Connection to the Thomas Fire

The Thomas Fire, which began on December 4th, 2017, burned over 281,000 acres and destroyed over a thousand buildings in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties making it the largest fire in California history. On December 11, 2017, Southern California Edison issued a press release stating that Cal Fire was investigating the cause of the fire and that Southern California Edison believed that its power equipment is being probed as a possible cause of the Thomas fire. Numerous media reports indicate that Southern California Edison’s negligence in maintaining its infrastructure, equipment and/or lines may have caused the fire to ignite.

Mudslides and the Thomas Fire

After the Thomas Fire burned hillsides, rain sent mud and debris flowing waist-high through the community of Montecito. Over a hundred homes have been destroyed and hundreds more have been seriously damaged. According to articles by the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, the mudslides are connected to damage from the Thomas Fire. Specifically, burned areas are less capable of absorbing water, which makes them more susceptible to flooding and mudslides. Fire also changes the soil by making it more slippery and prone to erosion, as does the destruction of vegetation on the slopes. Our attorneys are currently investigating potential claims against Southern California Edison for damage caused by mudslides that were initiated by the Thomas Fire.

Our Experience Yields Results

We put our decades of experience and history of successful litigation against companies to work for our clients. Our group is comprised of leading attorneys from three of the state’s most trusted consumer law firms:

We have litigated against many of the largest and most powerful companies and utilities in the country, earning our clients hundreds of millions of dollars.

Our disaster litigation experience includes representing victims of the 2017 Northern California wildfires, the 2015 Butte Wildfire, and the 2010 San Bruno Fire and Explosion. We know the ins and outs of fire and mudslide prevention practices, and hold utility companies and others accountable when their practices fall short.

Brian Osborne

Our Local Counsel

Having lived and worked as an attorney in Ventura County for more than twenty-five years, I have been committed to helping the people of my community for my entire career.

So when the Thomas fire and mudslides devastated my own property, as well as my friends’ and clients’ homes and businesses, I wanted to take action. I had previously represented a client whose father was killed in the Butte Fire in 2015. In that case, there were thousands of lawsuits brought against the utility that caused the fire. I observed all of the wildfire attorneys in action, both good and bad.

One group stood out to me above the others: Corey Danko Gibbs. I know the lawyers at Corey Danko Gibbs are the best of the best; they go above and beyond for their clients, and the results they have achieved really stand out.

Meet Our Team

Our three California-based law firms consist of seasoned trial lawyers, leading national personal injury attorneys, and experienced complex litigators.

Our attorneys have been appointed by California judges to serve in leadership positions in a number of large, coordinated fire and disaster cases. We know about wildfire prevention policies (and where they fall short) as well as the roles of key corporate witnesses.

Some of the cases in which we have represented victims in the aftermath of catastrophic disasters include:

Atlas Fire Litigation Porter Ranch Gas Leak Litigation
Butte Fire Litigation Redwood Valley Fire Litigation
LaPorte Fire Litigation San Bruno Pipeline Explosion Litigation
Nuns Fire Litigation Tubbs Fire Litigation
Kristine has been named one of the Top 50 women lawyers in Northern California by Thompson Reuters and San Francisco Magazine, as well as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California.

Kristine Meredith

Danko Meredith

Mike has frequently listed as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California and has been this year named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association. He has been honored with a nomination for Trial Attorney of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys of California. He has been named among the Best Lawyers in America consistently since 2009.

Mike Danko

Danko Meredith

In addition to his work representing victims of the PG&E gas line explosion and Butte fires, Dario helped to achieve a record-breaking settlement in an insider trading case implicating CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison. Dario in a Stanford Graduate and is often called upon by the courts to act as arbitrator in certain matters. He has served as adjunct professor of law at Canada College since 1998.

Dario de Ghetaldi

Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle

Amanda was appointed by the court to serve as co-liaison counsel for all the victims from the San Bruno fires. She currently serves as court-appointed co-liaison counsel for over 3,000 victims involved in the Butte Fire litigation. She has been a finalist for the Consumer Attorneys of California’s Woman Advocate of the Year Award. She also co-founded the San Mateo County Bar Association Legal Clinic Committee, which provides on-site legal services to residents of Shelter Network and Samaritan House’s homeless shelters on the Peninsula.

Amanda Riddle

Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle

Eric brings over two decades’ experience representing clients against large and powerful defendants including utility companies, banks, pharmaceutical companies, auto makers, tech companies, and others. The Daily Journal named Eric to its prestigious list of “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California” for 2016 and Law360 recognized Eric as a “2016 Consumer Protection MVP,” the only plaintiff-side lawyer in the country selected in that category. Consumer Attorneys of California selected Eric as one of the finalists for the Consumer Attorney of the Year award for work in achieving $100 million settlement for customers against Chase Bank.

Eric Gibbs

Gibbs Law Group LLP

Trial Lawyer of the Year

San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association

Mike Danko

Consumer Protection MVP

Law360

Eric Gibbs (sole plaintiffs’ lawyer recognized nationwide)

Top 30 Plaintiff Lawyers in California

Daily Journal

Eric Gibbs

Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California

Kristine Meredith

Trial Lawyer of the Year

Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California

Mike Danko

Consumer Attorney of the Year

Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California

Eric Gibbs

Woman Advocate of the Year

Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California

Amanda Riddle

AV-Preeminent

Martindale-Hubbell – highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills

Eric Gibbs

We bring a deep knowledge of power companies’ systems, policies, and background, and are well-positioned to take the hard work from years of litigation in previous cases to benefit our clients in holding defendants accountable for the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides.

Our approach is different from other firms in that we work directly with our clients through every stage of the litigation, from intake through verdict or settlement. We believe that the corporate culture of profits over safety needs to change, and we intend to take action to do just that.