Is Utility Provider Removing Thomas Fire Evidence?

Friday, February 16, 2018

According to residents of the Santa Barbara and Ventura regions devastated by the Thomas fire last December, utility provider Southern California Edison is removing power poles that may be central to identifying the cause of the wildfires. Those who lost their homes, or suffered extensive damages, both because of the fires or the landslide that followed in early January. Attorneys representing the affected residents are seeking a temporary restraining order preventing the removal of equipment along Anlauf Canyon Road.

Aftermath of the Thomas Fire

News coverage at the time of the wildfires clearly showed the extent of the damage, injury, and general devastation caused by the Thomas fire. According to recent figures, the fire itself killed two people, while burning over 280,000 acres of California land. More than 100 homes were destroyed as the flames engulfed the region. When the aftermath of the blaze resulted in debris and mudslides killing 21 people and wiping out another 100 homes, if not more, the power poles in question apparently became vital evidence.

The attorneys working on behalf of those affected by the Montecito mudslides claim that the poles are crucial in determining financial liability, and should be left in place until this is done. This claim centers on the fact that the fire left the area bare of greenery and vegetation and, therefore, unable to absorb rainfall, leading to catastrophic mudslides. The judge did not immediately reject or approve the request to leave the poles in place but has allowed both sides until Tuesday, February 20 to finalize their respective arguments.

Final insurance claims are still being calculated for the damages, losses, and, potentially, wrongful death lawsuits, arising from the mudslides in January, while over $1.8 billion of claims have been filed relating to the Thomas fire.

Wrongful Death in Santa Barbara

While losing your home in an incident such as those that have recently occurred in Santa Barbara and Ventura is devastating, it doesn’t compare to the loss of a loved one. When a partner or family member dies because of someone else’s negligence, you have a myriad of emotions to navigate. Not only do you have the inevitable grief that comes along with the death of a person close to you, but you also must reconcile the fact that it could have been avoided.

A wrongful death lawsuit could help to ease the financial burden and, although we understand it will not take away the pain of your loss, a Santa Barbara wrongful death attorney can help you to make sense of the legal process. With over 30 years of experience, we pledge to act compassionately yet doggedly to secure compensation for your losses, lost wages, and associated expenses.

Wrongful death lawsuits can be appropriate if you’ve lost a loved one in one of the following situations:

This isn’t a complete list so if you believe you may have a wrongful death claim, contact us today at 805-983-2344 to arrange a free consultation where we can discuss your case.

The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman has a focus on personal injury cases in other parts of California.

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