MONTECITO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the California Fire Lawyers, a legal group representing victims of wildfires, expressed their condolences and support for Southern California communities impacted by devastating mudslides. The mudslides have been linked to the recent fires believed to be caused by Southern California Edison.
According to NPR, at least 20 people have died and four people remain missing because of the “Thomas Flood” mudslides in Santa Barbara County. Residents have been told to evacuate as emergency crews work to clear the area of mud and debris.
“The mudslide washed my car away and the destroyed remains of it were found on the beach in Montecito,” said Alicia Journey, a local attorney with the California Fire Lawyers. “As terrifying as that was, I am so thankful that my family was otherwise unharmed. My heart breaks for the families who are grieving the loss of loved ones after this terrible ordeal.”
“The horrific mudslides in Montecito and other parts of Santa Barbara County are hitting this community hard, right on the heels of the worst fire season in California history,” said John Fiske, an environmental attorney and shareholder with Baron & Budd. “These post-fire debris flows happen when water rushes down the hillside, picking up mud, burnt trees, and other debris along the way. This situation is linked to the Thomas Fire, and SoCal Edison should be held accountable for every bit of the devastation that they have caused.”
“Even during this truly awful time, it’s important for impacted residents to remember that these tragedies were caused by SoCal Edison’s wrongdoing,” said John F. “Mickey” McGuire, an experienced landslide litigator and senior partner with Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.
McGuire has nearly 40 years of experience in handling landslide and soil movement claims. In the 1970s, in one of the first cases of its kind, McGuire successfully litigated on behalf of nearly 100 Oak Hills residents after a developer knowingly disturbed an ancient landslide which destroyed their homes. In 1995, he represented about 75 landslide victims in La Conchita, who each received up to three times their home’s worth in compensation. In 2003, McGuire represented the La Jolla Alta Master Council in a lawsuit that ultimately resulted in more than $9.5 million in settlements to repair storm drain systems and prevent a landslide.
“Throughout my career, I have represented hundreds of families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by landslides and similar disasters and achieved tremendous results on their behalf,” McGuire said. “It is imperative that all those affected by these mudslides seek out their legal options as soon as possible so that they can recover full and fair compensation for their losses.”
California Fire Lawyers, a group of experienced wildfire attorneys from Baron & Budd, Singleton Law Firm, Dixon Diab & Chambers LLP, Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, and Terry Singleton, Esq., is working to bring justice for victims of this tragedy. For more information about taking legal action against SoCal Edison for wildfire and/or mudslide damages, call 805-491-9947 or visit our website at www.CaliforniaFireLawyers.com.
ABOUT BARON & BUDD, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Austin, Los Angeles, and San Diego, is a nationally recognized law firm with a nearly 40-year history of “Protecting What’s Right” for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals and government and business entities in areas as diverse as dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, environmental contamination, the Gulf oil spill, financial fraud, overtime violations, deceptive advertising, automotive defects, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.
ABOUT SINGLETON LAW FIRM, APC
Singleton Law Firm, based in San Diego, is one of the top fire litigation firms in the state of California. We have represented thousands of individuals in major fires all over the state of California, and we have recovered over $600 million for our clients in fire cases. Our lead attorney, Gerald Singleton, has served as Liaison Counsel and on the Executive Committees in some of the largest fires in the state. We currently represent over 2,000 individuals in the 2015 Butte Fire, which was a catastrophic fire started by PG&E power lines that burned over 70,000 acres in Calaveras and Amador counties. We recently represented the largest individual group of plaintiffs in the 2013 Powerhouse Fire in Los Angeles County, and Mr. Singleton served as Liaison Counsel for that case. Prior to the Powerhouse Fire, Singleton Law Firm was one of four firms who teamed up in a joint venture to represent over 1,600 individuals in the 2007 San Diego Fires.
ABOUT DIXON DIAB & CHAMBERS LLP
The lawyers at Dixon Diab & Chambers LLP have gained national recognition as being some of the top litigators in their respective areas of practice. Ed Diab leads the firm’s fire litigation practice and has litigated numerous wildfire cases throughout the country. He was actively involved in the widely publicized lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric arising out of the 2010 San Bruno Gas Pipeline Explosion that leveled 38 homes and killed 8. He also currently represents numerous people in lawsuits against Pacific Gas & Electric that sustained significant property damages arising out of the 2015 Butte Fire in Amador/Calaveras County that burned over 70,000 acres. Both Deborah Dixon and Robert Chambers have significant experience litigating complex, multi-party lawsuits against entities and insurance companies on behalf of individuals and businesses. Their experience in personal injury, business litigation, products liability and class actions provide integral background for fire cases, as does their direct experience handling claims on behalf of victims who suffered personal injury and property damages because of fires.
ABOUT THORSNES BARTOLOTTA MCGUIRE
Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire was founded in 1978 by Michael T. Thorsnes and Vincent J. Bartolotta Jr. Less than a year later, third partner, John F. “Mickey” McGuire joined the firm. The firm has six partners including senior partner Kevin F. Quinn and partners Karen R. Frostrom, Ian C. Fusselman, and Brett J. Schreiber. Michael Thorsnes retired in 2002 but continues to be involved with the firm in an Of Counsel capacity. Since its inception the firm has annually earned numerous commendations, among them designations by American Lawyer Magazine as one of the top 20 firms in the Nation. The firm was recognized as Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and received the prestigious Tier One ranking for San Diego in the in the categories of Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Real Estate; Mass Torts Litigation/Class Actions; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. Since that time, all six partners, as well as our four associates, have had favorite success stories, none sweeter than those for which they have been recognized by peers in diverse legal fields ranging from construction defects to personal injury to medical malpractice to business litigation. A chronology of the firm includes such awards conferred with astonishing regularity upon Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire partners as “Outstanding Trial Lawyer,” “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” and “Best Lawyers in America”. The firm has just received the prestigious “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report for 2018.
ABOUT TERRY SINGLETON, ESQ.
Terry Singleton is a San Diego-based attorney with more than 40 years of experience in civil litigation. Mr. Singleton has successfully tried dozens of cases to verdict and has obtained over 50 verdicts or settlements in excess of $1 million in personal injury, utility fire/negligence and/or wrongful death cases. This includes obtaining one of the largest verdicts ever awarded in a wrongful death case in Imperial County. Mr. Singleton has more than 20 years of experience managing utility-caused wildfire litigation, beginning with the 1993 Guejito Fire in Escondido, California. He served as one of two lead trial attorneys for the largest group of plaintiffs in the 2007 San Diego Wildfires, which included the City and County of San Diego, and recently was one of the trial lawyers who successfully conducted a jury trial resulting from the 2011 Las Conchas fire in New Mexico, where he represented individuals and the Native American Pueblos of Cochiti and Jemez against an electrical distribution and a transmission/generation cooperative. Mr. Singleton, a US Army volunteer and Vietnam veteran, is also an active member of the community. In recent years, his pro bono work has included working to free a young man from prison who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2000.