Thomas Fire Thought to be Contributing Factor

SPIKE IN VALLEY FEVER DIAGNOSES IN VENTURA

The California Department of Public Health reports that there has been an increase in the number of valley fever cases reported through the end of 2017, compared with the number of cases reported in 2016.

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is an illness caused by a fungus found in the soil and dirt of some areas of the southwestern U.S., including many areas of the Central Valley.

People get infected by breathing in spores present in dust that gets into the air when it is windy or when soil is disturbed. While most people recover fully, some are at risk for more severe disease or complications, such as pneumonia, infection of the brain, joints, bone, skin or other organs.

Though Valley Fever often produces no signs of illness, it can in rare instances trigger fatal complications and is believed to have contributed to five deaths in Ventura County over four months ending in January. Of the five deaths in Ventura County, all involved people 65 and older.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with valley fever in the wake of the Thomas Fire, you may have a claim for compensation from Southern California Edison. Find out now. Fill out the form to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

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Doctors Connect Thomas Fire & Surrounding Winds with Valley Fever Cases

The Thomas Fire burned 282,000 acres and is thought be a contributing factor in the increase of Valley Fever. In January 2018, there were 55 possible cases of the fungal disease in Ventura County according to provisional data from the California Department of Public Health. While the disease was on the rise before the December fire, January’s increase is on a pace that is well over the 231 cases reported in all of 2017 for the County. There were 159 cases in the County in 2015 and 2016 combined. Pulmonologists and infectious disease specialists predict the surge will continue, citing the fire and the wind that came with it.

Several doctors in Ventura County have indicated that fire likely increases risks of the disease locally as they have seen patients with the condition that lived in or near the fire zone including Ventura, Ojai and Fillmore.

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

A.J. De Bartolomeo has been representing individuals in large and complex matters throughout the country for more than 20 years. She has extensive experience bringing claims mass claims against utility companies and others for property damage. A.J. is frequently appointed by federal courts to serve as a leadership lawyer in mass actions against large drug companies. Ms. De Bartolomeo has been named among the highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills with an AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell, and was recognized by her peers as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2013.

A.J. de Bartolomeo

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.