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LOS ANGELES — Today, the national law firm of Baron & Budd announces a $360 million settlement-in-principle with Southern California Edison on behalf of 23 public entities for taxpayer losses caused by the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein Fires, the 2018 Montecito Debris Flows, and the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
The $360 million settlement is for settling public entities only and does not affect the claims of residents, individuals, or businesses affected by the fires and debris flows.
JAMS Mediator Judge Jay Gandhi (Ret.) presided over several days of in-person mediation sessions held in Los Angeles, California. Participants in the mediation process include 23 public entities with various claims from the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein Fires, the 2018 Montecito Debris Flows, and the 2018 Woolsey Fire. After multiple days of mediation, Judge Gandhi brokered settlements for a combined total of $360 million, covering the fires and debris flows.
“Local government have suffered after several years of devastating wildfires,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder Scott Summy. “This money will replenish taxpayer resources to rebuild communities.”
“SCE appears committed to helping communities impacted by the wildfires and debris flows recover and rebuild,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder John Fiske. “SCE and local government work together on a regular basis, and we hope this resolution will help strengthen those relationships as they address new, common challenges facing local communities.”
Scott Summy, John Fiske, Torri Sherlin, and Stephen Johnston of Baron & Budd, alongside co-counsel Dixon Diab & Chambers, represent all 23 public entities in the settlement. The same legal team represents 45 public entities in wildfire settlements statewide, including the $1 billion resolution with PG&E announced earlier this year.
The settling public entities include Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles, Ventura County, Ventura County Watershed Protection, Ventura County Fire Protection District, City of Malibu, City of Agoura Hills, City of Calabasas, City of Hidden Hills, City of Thousand Oaks, City of Westlake Village, Conejo Recreation and Park District, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Santa Barbara County Fire Protection District, City of Santa Barbara, City of San Buenaventura, Montecito Water District, Montecito Fire Protection District, and Carpinteria Summerland Fire Protection District.
Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse and significant as dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicles, federal whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues.