Oregon jury orders PacifiCorp to pay $62 million in damages to homeowners affected by 2020 wildfires
By Laura Harris // Jan 30, 2024

An Oregon jury has ruled that utility company PacifiCorp must pay a minimum of $62 million in damages to homeowners affected by the devastating wildfires that ravaged the state in 2020.

PacifiCorp, the second-largest electrical utility in Oregon and owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's holding and investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, was previously found liable by an Oregon jury for causing some of the destructive wildfires in 2020.

According to the lawsuit, the equipment of PacifiCorp was responsible for the fires due to its failure to cut off power to its 600,000 customers during a Labor Day windstorm. The power lines toppled and fires burned through 1,900 square miles, destroying over 5,000 buildings and claiming nine lives.

"PacifiCorp and Pacific Power have caused Plaintiffs, the class members and their communities to suffer devastating property damage, economic losses and disruption to their families, homes, communities, livelihoods, businesses and well-being. Life will never be the same for the thousands of victims of Defendants’ fires," the plaintiffs wrote.

The verdict, which was delivered on Jan. 23, mandated the company compensate homeowners for approximately $6.3 million for property damage and other economic losses. The jurors allocated $56 million for the emotional distress, pain and suffering of the victims during and after the wildfires after a Jan. 9 trial in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The decision also included $9 million designated for a man who bravely leaped off a cliff into a river to escape the encroaching flames that consumed his home.

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This marks the completion of the first of three mini-trials scheduled to determine the extent of PacifiCorp's financial responsibility to the victims of the 2020 wildfires in Oregon.

The subsequent damages trial is set to begin on February 27, seeking compensation for nine other survivors and a camp providing Christian-based recreational and educational experiences for people with disabilities. This camp operates in a location where a power line, allegedly owned by PacifiCorp, is believed to have sparked one of the 2020 fires. The third damages trial is scheduled for April 22.

Furthermore, a jury had previously granted approximately $90 million to 17 homeowners, and damages for a larger class, estimated to include owners of around 2,500 properties, are yet to be determined. PacifiCorp also agreed to pay $299 million in a separate legal resolution in December to settle a lawsuit brought by 463 victims of wildfires in southern Oregon on that same day.

PacifiCorp denies wildfire accusations, blames victims and climate change

PacifiCorp has vehemently denied these claims, stating that the plaintiffs failed to establish a direct link between its equipment and the wildfires.

“The 2020 wildfires were undeniably tragic. PacifiCorp has settled and will continue to settle all reasonable claims for actual damages under Oregon law. The growing threat of wildfires to communities and businesses is bigger than any one company or industry," PacifiCorp said in a statement to ABC News after the ruling.

Moreover, the company claimed that factors like worsening climate change, difficulties in managing forests by state and federal authorities and more people living in areas where the wildlands meet urban spaces are making wildfires more likely.

"These systemic issues affect all Oregonians and are larger than any single utility, such as Pacific Power. A holistic perspective and public-private leadership will be essential to adapt society to natural disaster risks. As we look to recent events in California that have impacted the availability of routine property insurance for residents and businesses and wildfire smoke from Canada affecting the Northeast U.S., it is critical that we all work together to protect Oregonians through constructive, enduring solutions," the company said. (Related: Wildfires in Greece a result of ARSON, not climate change.)

Visit Disaster.news for more stories about 2020 wildfires.

Watch this video that explains what happened during the wildfires on the island of Maui.

This video is from the Alex Hammer channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Chinese state media (justifiably) MOCKS Biden’s INCOMPETENCE in handling Hawaii wildfires.

The Resistance Chicks: Non-native grasses contributed to wildfires in Hawaii – Brighteon.TV.

ARSON is the new CLIMATE CHANGE: 79 people arrested for starting wildfires in Greece.

Maui wildfires continue to expose government’s FAILURES and QUESTIONABLE decisions.

Maui wildfires: Lawsuit accuses Hawaiian Electric of negligence resulting in wrongful deaths, severe injuries and damages to property.

Sources include:

TheEpochTimes.com 1

TheEpochTimes.com 2

ABCNews.com

Brighteon.com



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