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Thomas Fire Lawsuit

Our Ventura County Fire Lawsuit Attorneys and legal teams are currently representing Ventura County Thomas fire victims on a contingency basis against Southern California Edison who we believe was responsible for either causing or creating the conditions which allowed the Thomas Fire to burn out of control.

Our California Fire legal teams are already representing over 150 homeowners and business owners in the North Bay Wine Country fires.  We are also actively signing up Thomas Fire victims and their families.  We are handling Thomas fire losses solely on a contingency basis, where there is no charge for our services until and unless we obtain a recovery.

The Thomas Fire started at around 6:20 p.m. on December 4, 2017, and lasted until January 12, 2018, when it finally became contained. During that 39 day period, the fire burned 281,893 acres – an area larger than New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. combined.

The fire also destroyed 1,063 structures, including 700 homes, making it the seventh-most destructive fire ever in California. The areas affected by the fires were declared a national disaster. The day after the fire started, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Ventura County.

The fire started in Santa Paula, south of Thomas Aquinas College and near Steckel Park. It quickly reached Ventura, then the Ojai Valley. It burned along Highway 150 and Highway 126. The fire surrounded Lake Casitas and burned through the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Firefighters worked hard to contain the blaze but faced difficulties along the way. The Santa Ana winds caused the fire to spread quickly, while power outages affected the water supply. Containment continued to grow each day even as the number of acres burned continued to increase.

By December 12, 2017, the fire was only 25 percent contained. Progress continued until the blaze was fully contained on January 12, 2018. It took one month to fully contain the fire.

The Thomas Fire caused two deaths. One involved a firefighter who was trying to extinguish the fire, while the other victim was a 70-year-old woman who was involved in a car crash while evacuating.

The fire forced 104,607 residents to evacuate their homes. More than 8,500 firefighters were called on to fight the blaze – more than any other fire. Altogether, the Thomas Fire cost nearly $300 million to fight.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries or losses as a result of the Thomas Fire, contact the Ventura County attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP now for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call us now at (805) 822-5993 or (800) 718-4658 to learn more about your rights. 

What Caused the Thomas Fire?

We believe the Thomas Fire was caused by the negligence of Southern California Edison for its failure to safely maintain its electrical infrastructure in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing an orange glow at the Ventura Ranch KOA Holiday campground in Santa Paula, where the utility company was working. Shortly thereafter, the fire broke out.

For several weeks before the fire started, it is believed that employees and contractors from the utility company had been working in the canyon behind the campground near the Comcast satellite facility. A representative from the utility company had met with campground managers weeks before the fire started and explained that the utility company would be spending a month or so working on a “big project” in the canyon.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing transformers exploding and high-voltage transmission lines snapping as the fires broke out. We believe the Thomas Fire would not have occurred had the utility company properly inspected and maintained its power lines and electrical equipment.

We believe that utility company crews working above the Ventura Ranch KOA Holiday campground caused the fire due to their negligence. We believe construction work caused the dry vegetation in the surrounding areas to ignite, leading to the massive fire. We believe they performed work in an unsafe manner and failed to maintain overhead electric and communications facilities.

Lawyers Representing Homeowners, Business Owners And Residents

Our team of California Fire Attorneys is actively representing victims and their families who have suffered fire damage, losses, and injuries.  We will be filing claims against Southern California Edison, and all other responsible parties for their role in causing the Thomas Fire.

We believe the city of Ventura may be responsible for lacking operable fire hydrants. There were plenty of firefighters on hand, but no water. Power outages caused hydrants not to work properly leading to a lack of water pressure. The hydrants could not keep up with the demand for water and started losing pressure the day after the Thomas Fire started, putting firefighters in a difficult situation.

Both the city of Ventura and Casitas Municipal Water District, which operate the hydrants, failed to have working backup generators on hand. This slowed down the progress of firefighters, who had to drive 20 minutes round trip to find an area with adequate water pressure. Homes in canyons and other hilly areas suffered the most damage from the lack of water pressure.

Possible Responsible Parties

  1. Southern California Edison
  2. Casitas Municipal Water District
  3. City of Ventura
  4. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Utility Company Liability

Power lines require regular maintenance in order to safely and effectively operate. Weather conditions, accidents, and other factors can cause lines to come down. These power lines carry an enormous amount of electricity. When they hit the ground and spark dry vegetation, massive wildfires can result.

The Thomas Fire is not the only California wildfire to be caused by downed power lines. Utility companies in all parts of the state have been forced to pay millions of dollars for failure to properly maintain and repair power lines. After the Malibu Canyon fire in 2007, Southern California Edison was ordered to pay $37 million in fines. After the Butte Fire in 2015, PG&E was sued for $87 million.

What Are We Seeking?

Our Thomas Fire Lawsuit Attorneys are seeking compensation including a monetary recovery for all losses our homeowner and business owner clients suffered including loss of home, landscaping, trees, foliage and agricultural losses, loss of earnings, lost business income, recovery for emergency evacuation and more.

How To Make A Claim For Thomas Fire Losses Or Injuries

If you or a loved one lost your home, suffered injuries, lost your business, or sustained any other personal and business losses due to the Thomas Fire, contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation. You may have a claim.  We will not pressure you to hire us.   You have a right to know if you have a claim.

We have a large team of fire attorneys, fire experts, and ample resources to help you and to answer any questions you may have.  We will provide you with an honest and fair assessment of your case. We will represent you solely on a contingency basis.  We only charge a fee if we obtain a recovery.  If we do not obtain a recovery you owe us nothing for our time, costs and expenses.

Please call us today at (805) 822-5993 or (800) 718-4658 or complete the “Do I Have A Claim” form on the right.

Our job is to ease your burden, by taking over the fire claim process. Let our Thomas Fire attorneys deal with the paperwork, claims, deadlines, and negotiations so that you can heal and rebuild. We are here to help. Contact us now.