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Jury selection began on April 24 for the 17 plaintiffs who have brought up a lawsuit against defendant Pacificorp, the electric company that operates Pacific Power in Oregon. The main argument of the lawsuit revolves around whether PacifiCorp turned off its electrical lines and equipment in areas at extreme risk for wildfires on Labor Day weekend in 2020. 

Plaintiffs were impacted by the wildfire in 2020 and are going through a $1.6 billion class-action lawsuit to prove that the utility company was responsible for the impact that changed these Oregonians forever. The wildfire burned more than 1.2 million acres of land in Oregon, taking the lives of nine people and destroying approximately 5,000 homes and businesses. State and federal estimates of the financial costs ranged from $622 million to over $1 billion. However, there are ongoing investigations of those fires, and it’s still unclear how much damage can be tied to power lines. 

What is PacifiCorp Accused of Doing?

On Labor Day weekend in 2020, The National Weather Service in Portland issued a high wind warning and reported that gusts could reach 45 mph in lower elevations and up to 60 mph in higher terrain. In response, other electrical power providers, including Consumers Power and Portland General Electric, turned their lines off. Plaintiffs of the case accuse PacifiCorp of ignoring the warnings and keeping its electrical equipment charged through heavily wooded areas, such as the Santiam Canyon, as the weather intensified. 

According to the complaint, Pacific Power and its parent company failed to de-energize power lines in areas of particular risk, despite forecasters’ warning of a historic wind event and extreme fire danger. By leaving its power lines on during extremely critical fire conditions on Labor Day, with the knowledge that a historic windstorm would bring trees down onto power lines and ignite uncontrollable fires, PacifiCorp and Pacific Power caused devastation and destruction on a massive scale.

We Care. We Can Help.

When a fire is caused by the negligence of a company, that company needs to be held responsible for its failures. If you are a victim of wildfire, it’s in your best interest to contact a Wildfire Lawyer. One of our experienced and compassionate attorneys can help you determine your next steps. By contacting a Wildfire Lawyer, you may be able to recover the following:

  • Evacuation Expenses (such as hotel stays)
  • Wrongful Death from Fire or Smoke         
  • Hospitalization
  • Serious Burns
  • Other Serious Personal Injury
  • Long-Term Health Effects
  • Psychological Impact
  • Home Loss
  • Structure Loss
  • Damage to Animals/Pets
  • Damage to Timber/Trees
  • Erosion
  • Vegetation Loss
  • Damage to Landscaping
  • Significant Property Damage
  • Economic Loss
  • Agriculture Loss
  • Damage to Infrastructure
  • Business Loss
  • Business Interruption        
  • Smoke Damage
  • Damage from Soot & Ash
  • Underinsured Property
  • FEMA Assistance
  • Utility & Other Service Interruptions
  • Housing Market Impacts 

The Carlson Law Firm has been helping plaintiffs in fire injuries for more than 45 years. Furthermore, we have a long history of successfully representing clients with devastating property damage, economic losses, and disruption to homes, businesses, and livelihoods caused by wildfires. 

To speak with our Wildfire attorneys, call us at 866-707-7584 or use the chatbox below.

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