August 14, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against SoCal Edison for Negligence in Woolsey Fire

Fire at 96 percent containment as lawsuit filed. 

By Sam Catanzaro

Nearly 20 people impacted by the destructive Woolsey Fire are the first to sue Southern California Edison for negligence which resulted in worsening conditions that intensified the wildfires.

According to the class action complaint, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the plaintiffs contend SCE failed to shut off power to prevent the fire and shut off electricity to water needed to protect homes and residences. On November 12, 2018 as the fire raged, SCE provided a preliminary report to the California Public Utility Commission stating that SCE’s electric substation had experienced a disturbance two minutes before the fire was first reported. The fire started at the same SCE facility where the substation is located.

 “Southern California Edison failed to take proper precautions to protect people and property even though the utility had prior warning of the Red Flag conditions in the area,” said lead plaintiff attorney R. Rex Parris with Parris Law Firm. “SCE’s decision to eventually turn off the power only exacerbated the problem for residents and firefighters,” added Parris.

The lawsuit claims that once the electricity was off, residents and firefighters couldn’t access enough water with the right pressure to fight the fire, increasing risk to the safety of homeowners sheltering in place and firefighters.

The plaintiffs are property owners, renters, business owners and/or individuals that suffered damages by the dangerous Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles County, California and Ventura County. Because the named plaintiffs filed the case as a class action, they also seek to represent a class of every person and business harmed by Edison’s negligence.

The fire, which is nearly contained, has burned through almost 100,000 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties destroying at least 1,500 structures. At the time of publishing, the fire is at 96 percent containment.

“Firefighting resources will continue to mop up and patrol. Crews remain diligent in providing public service to residents as they return to their homes. Structures destroyed and damaged have been validated by damage assessment teams,”  CAL FIRE said in a statement Monday morning.

On Saturday, November 17, President Donald Trump, California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom surveyed they damage in Malibu and the surrounding area after Trump pledged federal assistance to the state to help with recovery efforts.

The fire, which has caused the fatalities of three people and injured three firefighters, forced mandatory evacuation orders in the cities of Malibu, Topanga, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Hidden Hills and Thousand Oaks. Most of these areas have been repopulated but at the time of publishing, there were still regions of northern Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains under mandatory evacuation orders.

Officials caution residents who have started to return home to be wary of their surroundings as the dangers of the fire can still linger.

“Check grounds for hot spots, smoldering stumps, and vegetation. Check the roof and exterior areas for sparks or embers. Check the attic and throughout your house for any hidden burning sparks or embers. Check for fire damage to your home, turn off all appliances and make sure the meter is not damaged before turning on the main circuit breaker,” said CAL FIRE.

Firefighters initially expected to contain the Woolsey Fire by Saturday, November 18, but challenging conditions pushed this date back. At the time of publishing, Cal Fire expected the fire to be contained by November 22.

In the wake of the fire officials have urged residents to help with cash donations but cautioned members of the public to beware of financial scams related to wildfire recovery support.

“[We are] urging that donations be made to reputable first responder, relief, and animal‐aid organizations,” Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center said in a press release. These include the American Red Cross, United Way and Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation.

On Wednesday and Thursday, there is a chance of rain, which may offer a reprieve from the hot and dry conditions, but also brings along the possibility of mudslides due to unstable ground post-fire.

“The after effects of a wildfire on watershed can be drastic causing immediate issues and long term effects. Rates of erosion and runoff can increase to dangerous levels following wildfires in California. Normally trees, shrubs, grass and other protective groundcover help prevent soil detachment and allow rainfall to infiltrate into the soil. After a wildfire the extreme heat can bake the soil to the point that water is unable to penetrate and can cause excessive run off in a post wildfire area,” said Cal Fire.

To prepare CAL FIRE firefighters are implementing post-fire repair efforts. This includes installing water bars (ditches cut at an angle into the soil, removing soil from streams where fire lines crossed, bringing road drainage structures back to pre-fire conditions, removing hazards like burned trees from roads and power lines and installing straw-waddle dams on hillsides.

Visit http://www.readyforwildfire.org/After-a-Wildfire/ for more information on returning home after a fire.

 

in News
Related Posts

Construction Begins on Michigan Avenue Affordable Housing Development

August 13, 2022

August 13, 2022

The new development will replace the Santa Monica Nikkei Hall By Dolores Quintana ​​A new affordable housing project has begun...

Column: Time to Crack Down on Vacant Homes’ Owners

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist ​​There is no doubt California has a housing shortage. That’s fact even in the wake of...

Metro To Hold Community Meetings About Potential Green Line Extension

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

By Dolores Quintana Los Angeles Metro is holding a series of public meetings to discuss extending the Metro C or...

Another Mountain Lion Dies After Being Hit by a Car

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

P-89 found dead along the shoulder of the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills last month By Sam Catanzaro Another mountain...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Sexual Assualt Suspect

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

Anthony Barrett arrested in connection to June 28 assault By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are seeking the public’s help...

LA City Council Approves Expanded Anti-Camping Ordinance

August 11, 2022

August 11, 2022

Bonin one of three not votes in expansion of LAMC section 41.18 Los Angeles City Council has banned homeless encampments...

Review: A Santa Monica Restaurant’s New Happy Hour is Top-Notch

August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022

By Dolores Quintana Birdie G’s in Santa Monica has a new Happy Hour and it is something special. For one...

Italian Market Coming to Montana Avenue

August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022

Sogno Toscano planned for 1512 Montana Avenue By Dolores Quintana Sogno Toscano is aiming to open a new “lifestyle cafe,...

Best of Santa Monica Awards Voting Now Open!

August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022

Cast your vote to support your favorite local businesses  Voting is now open for the Santa Monica Mirror’s annual Best...

Venice Family Clinic to Provide Free Community Resources in Celebration of National Health Center Week

August 9, 2022

August 9, 2022

Nonprofit Community Health Center Offering Free COVID-19 Vaccines, Children’s Books, HIV Testing, Health Insurance Counseling, CalFresh Enrollment and More August...

Santa Monica Obtains Injunctions Against Landlords in Section 8 Voucher Discrimination Lawsuit

August 8, 2022

August 8, 2022

Judgment requires landlords to accept voucher, pay $20,000 in restitution  By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has obtained...

Local Nursing Home Tells Wrong Patients Family Their Loved One Died: Santa Monica Beat – August 8th, 2022

August 8, 2022

August 8, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Local Nursing Home Tells Wrong Patients Family Their Loved One Died* Santa...

Brentwood-Adjacent Residential High-Rise Complete

August 8, 2022

August 8, 2022

The first high-rise residential development built west of the 405 in over 40 years is now leasing luxury apartments. Learn...