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Smoke rises out of the remains of a burned-out business Nov. 30, 2016, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, after a wildfire swept through the area. Smoke rises out of the remains of a burned-out business Nov. 30, 2016, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, after a wildfire swept through the area. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

As wildfires ravage the West Coast, victims of a 2016 wildfire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park won a key court ruling in cases brought against the U.S. government.

The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer of the Eastern District of Tennessee, refused to dismiss a set of cases brought on behalf of individuals who died or suffered property damages due to The Chimney Tops 2 Fire, which, along with a series of other wildfires that broke out at the same time, killed 14 people and injured 190. Greer is the second judge to refuse dismissal to the U.S. Department of Justice, which is defending the park’s operator, the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service, in the litigation.

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Amanda Bronstad

Amanda Bronstad is the ALM staff reporter covering class actions and mass torts nationwide. She writes the email dispatch Critical Mass. She is based in Los Angeles.

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