Federal investigators are investigating whether Southern California Edison (SCE) equipment sparked the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest. You may be eligible for financial compensation if you or a loved one had property injured or destroyed by, or were injured by the Bobcat Fire. Call us now at 800-718-4658 for a free consultation. You can also complete the “Do I Have A Case?” form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or converse with one of our live chat specialists.
Southern California Edison May Be Liable
An SCE incident report said that its equipment experienced an issue five minutes before the Bobcat Fire was initially reported nearby, near Cogswell Dam in the San Gabriel Mountains on September 6.
Investigators have determined that SCE’s power lines started the Thomas Fire in 2017. High winds caused two power lines to come into contact, creating an electrical arc which “deposited hot, burning or molten material onto the ground,” causing the fire.
COMSAT data shows SCE equipment experienced an issue approximately three minutes before the start of the Thomas Fire, according to a Cal Fire investigation.
Southern California said in a letter that tree branches may have come into contact with its equipment, sparking the Bobcat Fire. Southern California Edison said in a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission that a 23-foot section of an overhead conductor and tree branches in the area of the conductor have been retained in its investigation into the Bobcat Fire.
“SCE is investigating the cause of the ignition and the 12:16 p.m. relay on its system, and evaluating whether vegetation in the area could have been a factor, including whether vegetation may have encroached within the minimum clearance distance or contacted the section of the overhead conductor retained by USFS,” SCE said.
SCE also acknowledged in October 2019 that its equipment was “likely” the cause of the Woolsey Fire. SCE said it had an issue with its electrical system near the suspected origin point of the fire.
Utilities can be held liable for any damages that fires they cause in California. Article One, Section 19 of California’s constitute states that the government must provide just compensation to property owners when they damage private property for a public use. Utilities have the ability to condemn private property via eminent domain, an ability shared by the government. California courts hold that utilities must provide just compensation to property owners whose property is damaged by their fires just like the government because of this. This concept is known as inverse condemnation.
Lawsuits also claim that SCE’s negligence was a factor in causing the Thomas Fire. Lawsuits claim the Thomas Fire occurred because SCE negligently maintained their power lines as well as the vegetation around their lines. Damages as a result of the Bobcat Fire may be able to be recovered based on negligence if SCE’s negligent maintenance of power lines and vegetation once again led to a wildfire in the case of the Bobcat Fire.
Lawsuits also seek to recover damages from SCE’s involvement in the Thomas Fire based on trespass, private and public nuisance and premises liability, as well as violations of public utilities and health and safety codes. A Bobcat Fire lawsuit may be able to hold SCE liable based on these causes of action as well.
The Bobcat Fire, Thomas Fire and Woolsey Fire are part of a series of California wildfires ignited by electrical equipment, and SCE isn’t the only utility involved in this series. PG&E equipment started the Kincade Fire in 2019 according to California state authorities, and authorities said Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lines sparked the Getty Fire in 2019. Numerous lawsuits have resulted from all of the recent wildfires in California, and a common theme behind virtually all of them is utilities’ negligent maintenance of power lines and the vegetation surrounding their power lines. The Bobcat Fire may have also been the result of SCE’s negligent maintenance of power lines and vegetation, and we will hold them accountable for this if this is the case.
Bobcat Fire Recoveries
Many types of damages may be able to be recovered in a Bobcat Fire lawsuit, including but not limited to:
- Repair or replacement of property
- Loss of use and enjoyment of property
- Injuries to trees, timber or underwood
- Medical bills
- Punitive and exemplary damages
Bobcat Fire Lawyers
We have extensive experience in handling wildfire cases and are currently handling thousands of California wildfire claims. Our goal is always the same when we file lawsuits against utilities: to make sure our clients recover a fair amount representing the true value of their losses, and to make sure our clients are fairly compensated for the emotional distress of being affected by a tragic fire.
Our wildfire attorneys handle California wildfire claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only charge clients a small portion of their recovery, and only in the event we obtain a recovery. You will never be charged a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you.
Let us hold SCE accountable for their actions and obtain justice for you. Call us now at 800-718-4658 for a free Bobcat Fire lawsuit consultation. You may be eligible for a financial recovery.