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FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2017 file photo, a firefighter sprays a hose into a Keysight Technologies building in Santa Rosa, Calif. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that more than 100 boxes of letters and other materials from tech pioneers William Hewlett and David Packard burned in the fires. Electronics firm Keysight Technologies had acquired the archives through spinoffs, and the archives were stored at its offices in Santa Rosa. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)

Napa and Sonoma Valley Wildfire Litigation

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Caddell & Chapman continues its investigation and prosecution of cases against PG&E for the Napa and Sonoma valley wildfires that began on October 8.  As commonly known, the Napa and Sonoma valleys were victim to some of the most destructive wildfires in California history, destroying more than 5000 homes and costing more than 40 lives.

Soon after the fires commenced, Caddell & Chapman retained one of the preeminent fire cause and origin experts in California to consult with us in investigating and determining the origin of the Napa/Sonoma Valley fires and whether there was any potential liability on the part of third parties, such as PG&E.  The firm quickly completed inspections of the fire scenes and developed working theories about PG&E’s liability for the two largest fires.

Two weeks after the fires commenced, Caddell & Chapman filed one of the first lawsuits (and likely the first class-action lawsuit) concerning the devastating fires. The firm currently has two class actions pending – because the fire-origin-and-causation issues are common to all individuals harmed by a particular fire – and we are also investigating potential individual claims, based on client requests.

Not surprisingly, many other law firms have filed cases with respect to these fires, but few have already retained experts, conducted physical inspections, and developed theories of causation and liability.  In fact, many of the law firms pursuing these cases are depending on others to do the work. With decades of experience handling fire investigations and related litigation, that is not how Caddell & Chapman operates.  Further, we are one of the few firms to combine extensive class-action/mass tort experience with fire origin and causation expertise.  We know the importance of early inspections and documentation and have acted accordingly.

The litigation has now been designated for coordination in San Francisco.  This means that one judge will handle the coordinated prosecution of the many claims.  With offices in Monterey, Caddell & Chapman is well-positioned to participate in the litigation and to attend to our clients and their concerns.  If you or anyone you know has been affected by these fires, we stand ready to investigate potential property damage and personal injury cases arising from the devastating fires. We offer free consultations. If we take your case, you will not pay any fees or expenses unless we obtain a recovery on your behalf.

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