The McKinney Fire that has ravaged Siskiyou County in Northern California is nearing total containment. But not before it has caused at least four fatalities and a dozen injuries, as well as the complete destruction of nearly 200 structures. PacifiCorp, a power utility company that operates in the area, is already facing a lawsuit that alleges the corporation’s negligence started the deadly wildfire.
According to the lawsuit, PacifiCorp failed to maintain its energy infrastructure, even after it was likely damaged by thunderstorms in the area. The damaged utility lines allegedly sparked and ignited the surrounding dry brush, starting the blaze. The lawsuit claims that a deadly wildfire last year in Siskiyou County was also caused by PacifiCorp’s negligence. PacifiCorp, and its sub-company Pacific Power, have not yet publicly responded to the lawsuit and accusations.
Do Utility Companies Start California Wildfires?
The accusation against PacifiCorp is shocking given the nature of the disasters involved. However, it is not nearly the first time that a utility company in California has been accused of starting deadly and destructive wildfires. A Wall Street Journal investigation concluded that more than 1,500 California wildfires between 2014 and 2019 were likely caused by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E), including the deadly Camp Fire in Paradise and the 2021 Dixie Fire.
A consistent thread in the legal complaints against PG&E and PacifiCorp is that the utility companies failed to complete routine maintenance that would have stopped wildfires and saved lives. Tasks as basic as trimming trees close to powerlines and replacing worn hooks and cables were rarely done by either company. Yet many of the worst wildfires were caused by something as simple as a tree branch falling and hitting an active powerline or a hook snapping and dropping a live wire into the brush.
The corporate negligence of PacifiCorp and PG&E has led to countless lawsuits that have demanded compensation for:
- Severe injuries
- Loss of life
- Lost property
- Emotional distress
- Lost earnings
- And many more losses
Who Can Sue PacifiCorp for the McKinney Fire?
If you have lost a loved one, suffered an injury, lost your property, or were displaced from your property because of the McKinney Fire, then you could have legal grounds to file a lawsuit against PacifiCorp and Pacific Power for the negligence that started it. The utility company is sure to brace for an influx of lawsuits and start building its defenses. You should prepare your case with the help of the professional California wildfire attorneys of Kershaw Talley Barlow.
Our team has worked on numerous cases against utility companies like PG&E for negligence that started deadly wildfires, including the Camp Fire, Dixie Fire, and others. We are widely considered one of the nation’s most trusted law firms for complex wildfire litigation. With our extensive experience and resources, we have secured more than $1 billion in recoveries for our clients throughout our 100+ years of collective practice. Put that caliber of legal service in your corner for your McKinney Fire lawsuit, so you can stand a fair chance of getting the justice and compensation that you deserve.
Schedule a free case review with Kershaw Talley Barlow by dialing (916) 520-6639 now.