SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott (SSMS), a leading California fire litigation law firm, filed a lawsuit alleging that negligence by the utility company PacifiCorp was cause of the Slater Fire, which burned more than 157,000 acres and damaged or destroyed more than 700 structures in Siskiyou County early this year. SSMS represents the family of one decedent and dozens of homeowner and renters who lost their homes in the fire.
The lawsuit alleges that the Slater Fire started when PacifiCorp’s powerlines came into contact with a nearby tree. Despite a National Weather Service red-flag warning, and being on notice that conditions were extremely dangerous, PacifiCorp negligently failed to de-energize its powerlines in the area. As a result, PacifiCorp’s powerlines came into contact with nearby trees, which PacifiCorp had failed to properly trim, igniting the deadly fire.
Gerald Singleton, the founding partner of Singleton Law Firm and one of the most experienced fire attorneys in California, stated, “The Slater Fire appears to be a textbook case of a power company’s negligence. PacifiCorp elected to run above-ground, non-insulated powerlines through a forest, creating a serious risk that one of their electrical conductors would come into contact with a tree and start a fire. PacifiCorp compounded this danger by failing to shut-off power, despite being on notice of the dangerous conditions, and by failing to properly inspect and maintain their equipment, as they had a legal duty to do. As a result of their negligence, they killed at least one person, destroyed hundreds of homes and left hundreds of people homeless in the dead of winter.”
SSMS has over 100 employees and has offices throughout California. In the past two decades, Mr. Singleton and his team have represented more than 10,000 victims of utility fires, in multiple states, and has recovered approximately $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for its clients. The firm currently represents thousands of victims of the 2020 Mountain View and Zogg Fires, the 2019 Kincade Fire, the 2018 Woolsey and Camp Fires, the 2017 Thomas and North Bay Fires, and the 2015 Butte Fire.