Update from Class Counsel:
On June 12, 2023, the class action jury trial in this case concluded with a verdict against PacifiCorp for the Labor Day 2020 fires. You can review a copy of the verdict on the Important Documents page. The jury’s verdict includes findings that PacifiCorp was negligent, reckless, and willful, and that its actions were a cause of harm to the entire class. The jury also found PacifiCorp liable for punitive damages to class members. You can review a copy of the punitive damage verdict on the Important Documents page. There will be a second phase where class members will have the opportunity to establish their own right to compensation for the loss of their property (economic damages) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering). Class members can contact Class Counsel by email at PacifiCorpFireLitigation@edelson.com or by telephone at 503-217-6722 for more information. Please do not contact the Court or PacifiCorp.
What is this lawsuit about?
A class action lawsuit has been filed against PacifiCorp and Pacific Power (collectively, “PacifiCorp”) alleging that PacifiCorp’s acts and/or omissions caused or contributed to the Fires around Labor Day 2020 that damaged or destroyed homes and property of thousands of people. The lawsuit is pending in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Oregon and is presided over by Judge Steffan Alexander.
PacifiCorp denies that it caused or contributed to the Fires, denies that its acts or omissions violated any law or legal requirement, and denies that it is liable to any plaintiff. Likewise, no judge or jury has concluded that PacifiCorp caused or contributed to the Fires, violated any law or legal requirement, or is liable to anyone.
Am I part of this Class?
The Court has certified a class of certain owners and residents of real, mobile, and other property (the “Class”) for a trial of certain issues (the “Certified Issues”) related to PacifiCorp’s alleged responsibility for the fires. You are a member of the Class if you fall within either of the following criteria:
(A) Owners or residents, as of September 7, 2020, of any privately owned real property that is wholly or partially within the boundary of the maximum extent of burn for the Echo Mountain (including the Kimberling Fire), South Obenchain, or 242 fires, or for the Santiam Canyon fires, is wholly or partially within the boundary in Map 4a below, and experienced fire activity during those fires; or
(B) Owners of a motorhome, residential trailer, manufactured dwelling, other mobile home, or any other personal property that, as of September 7, 2020, was located on any property in the same area, experienced fire activity during the Fires, and whose personal property experienced fire damage during the Fires.
Maps showing the boundaries for the Fires covered by this case are available here.
When is the Jury Trial?
A jury trial of the Certified Issues (the “Issues Trial”) has been scheduled to start on April 24, 2023. The Certified Issues to be decided at the Issues Trial are listed under Question 6 on the FAQ page.
There is no money or other benefit available now, nor is there any guarantee that there will be. At the conclusion of the Issues Trial, depending on the result, any individual in the Class may have to commence their own lawsuit against PacifiCorp if they want to obtain any financial compensation. However, if you are a Class Member, your legal rights are affected by the upcoming Issues Trial, whether you act or don’t act, and you have a choice to make now.