Summary Judgment Dismissal of Claims in a Wildfire Case

After the “Taylor Bridge” fire burned more than 27,000 acres of land in Central Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources issued a fire investigation report determining that the “most likely” cause of the fire was a rebar contractor’s work on the bridge.  Nineteen separate lawsuits brought by more than 300 separate plaintiffs followed, alleging that the rebar contractor started the fire and and was responsible for more than $400 Million dollars in damages.  Forsberg & Umlauf attorneys Grant Lingg and Scott Samuelson defended the case and determined that the rebar contractor’s work could not have been the cause. They first worked to consolidate the many cases filed in two different counties.  Once the cases were consolidated before a single judge, they persuaded the Court that there was no admissible evidence that the fire was initiated by the work of the firm’s client and the claims were dismissed.