California Fire Lawyers Announce New Lawsuit Filed Against SoCal Edison for Southern California Fires

Jan 10, 2018


Lawsuit Alleges Thomas, Creek and Rye fires caused by Corporate Negligence; Fires Collectively Damaged more than 300,000 Acres and Destroyed more than 1,000 structures


LOS ANGELES  --Late last week, nationally recognized attorneys from Baron & Budd; Singleton Law Firm; Dixon Diab & Chambers LLP; Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP; and Terry Singleton, Esq.; collectively known as the California Fire Lawyers, announced that the team has filed suit in Los Angeles County on behalf of six plaintiffs who sustained injuries or other incurred damages as a result of the Thomas, Creek and Rye fires which began on December 4, 2017 (Case No. BC688977).

“Through this litigation, we are holding SoCal Edison accountable so that these individuals and their families can begin the process of rebuilding their lives.”

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In the suit, the firms allege that the fires began when electrical infrastructure owned, operated and maintained by Southern California Edison (“SCE”) failed causing a spark and igniting surrounding vegetation. As a result of this alleged wrongdoing, the three fires claimed the life of a firefighter, burned more than 300,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures.

The suit goes on to state that damages suffered by the plaintiffs include, but are not limited to: personal injuries, damage to or destruction of property, loss of cherished possessions, medical bills, evacuation expenses and lost wages.

“Our early investigation strongly indicates that Southern California Edison’s electrical infrastructure is to blame for causing these historic fires,” said Gerald Singleton, principal attorney at The Singleton Law Firm. “Through this litigation, we are holding SoCal Edison accountable so that these individuals and their families can begin the process of rebuilding their lives.”

“Wires carrying electricity, and electrical infrastructure are dangerous instruments and should be properly installed and maintained as part of any utility provider’s commitment and obligation to public safety,” said Scott Summy of Baron & Budd, P.C. “We believe that these fires were caused by SoCal Edison’s failure to keep their service delivery safe and they need to be held liable for this failure.”

Attorneys with the California Fire Lawyers group have a history of fighting for victims of wildfires, securing more than $650 million for 4,000 victims of previous fires, including the 2007 San Diego Fires, the 2010 San Bruno Explosion, and the 2015 Butte Fire. The group currently represents more than 500 victims of the October 2017 Northern California wildfires against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

If you were impacted by these fires and wish to discuss your legal options, please call us at 805-491-9947. Additional information can be found online at


Baron & Budd, P.C., is one of the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. Lead attorneys Russell Budd, Scott Summy and Roland Tellis were selected to the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Budd has been selected to Best Lawyers every year since 2014 and Mr. Summy has been selected to Best Lawyers every year since 2006. Baron & Budd lawyers have served in leadership positions on the majority of the major, mass tort litigations in the past two decades. Mr. Summy was one of four attorneys to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the 2010 BP Oil Spill case, and he was instrumental in negotiating the more than $15 billion settlement obtained on behalf of the individual plaintiffs. In 2014 Baron & Budd was named to the list of America’s Elite Trial Lawyers by The National Law Journal. This illustrious list is comprised of 50 law firms that have achieved significant results on behalf of plaintiffs within the previous year and have an established track record of delivering impressive results. Baron & Budd has been repeatedly selected by The Legal 500 as one of the country’s premier law firms in mass tort claims and class action litigation. In its 40 year history, Baron & Budd has handled over 10,000 wrongful death cases and has pioneered numerous areas of litigation.


Singleton Law Firm, based in San Diego, is one of the top fire litigation firms in the state of California. Over the past decade, SLF has represented thousands of individuals in major fires all over the state of California, and has recovered over $650 million for its clients in fire cases. Lead attorney Gerald Singleton has served as Liaison Counsel and on the Executive Committees in some of the largest fires in the state. Mr. Singleton and Erika Vasquez, head of the firm’s fire litigation division, 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. The firm 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.


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. The firm also has substantial experience representing families in wrongful death cases, having handled more than 150 such claims and recovering millions of dollars on the families’ behalf.


Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire is a high-end, civil litigation firm that specializes in serious personal injury and wrongful death, condemnation, inverse condemnation, and construction defect litigation. Since its founding in 1978, the firm has recovered over $1 billion on behalf of its clients. TBM annually earns 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 categories of Mass Torts Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation. The firm has received numerous “Outstanding Trial Lawyer,” “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” and “Best Lawyers in America,” and just received the prestigious “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report for 2018.


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 dollars 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.


Contact Information:

Baron & Budd, P.C.
Bradley Bowen, 214-523-6633

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