Lawsuits are now being filed against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) on behalf of individuals and business owners who were harmed by the 2017 Napa County fires, which claimed the lives of dozens of people, left thousands displaced, and charred more than 160,000 acres of land.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you were injured or someone you know died in the Napa / Sonoma County fires, or if you are a winery owner or own another business that suffered property damage, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Napa Woman Arrested, Charged with Starting Lake Berryessa Fires
December 8, 2017 – A woman from Napa Valley has been arrested on suspicion of arson after officials say she started wildfires near the north end of Lake Berryessa in Northern California. Cal Fire released no details regarding how they believe 59-year-old Debra Ann Windholz may have caused the wildfires, but have stated she wasn’t involved in the recent firestorm in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.
What’s the Problem?
2017 has been a record year for wildfires in the state of California. Over the past two months alone, fires have torn through Sonoma and Napa Counties in what the LA Times is calling “the most destructive wildfires in California history.”
Among the statistics are:
- 42 people dead
- 100,000 people displaced
- 8,400 homes and other buildings destroyed
- 160,000 acres of land burned
- Nearly $200 million in revenue spent battling the blazes
- Total losses of more than $1 billion
What Caused the Sonoma County Fires?
A special report published in the LA Times on Nov. 18 covered the investigation into what caused the 2017 Northern California wildfires. While it will likely be months before an official cause is announced, “there is already one prime suspect: utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric,” the report said.
Barely a month after the first fires started, and PG&E has already been slammed with more than 100 lawsuits filed by homeowners and others claiming that it did not properly maintain power lines and trim the vegetation around them.
List of Wineries Damaged or Destroyed by Napa Fires
Below is a list of 27 wineries damaged or destroyed by the 2017 California wildfires provided by the OC Register (Oct. 23):
- Darioush Winery: Sustained landscape and vineyard damage, but the winery building was untouched.
- Domaine Carneros: The Carneros District was undamaged, but a one-acre vineyard in Sonoma burned.
- Helena View Johnston Vineyards: The Calistoga winery was completely destroyed.
- Hagafen Cellars: The winery and tasting room survived, but parts of the property burned.
- Jarvis Estate: The Atlas Peak winery was heavily damaged, but a 45,000-square-foot cave in the Vaca Mountains is safe.
- Mayacamas Vineyards: One of the property’s historic buildings burned to the ground, but the winery survived.
- Palmaz Vineyards: Winery’s main building suffered superficial damage.
- Paras Vineyard: The family farm burned to the ground, and there is some vineyard damage.
- Patland Estate Vineyards: Extensive damage to estate and vineyards.
- Pulido-Walker’s Estate Vineyard: Complete loss.
- Roy Estate: Winery off Soda Canyon Road in Napa destroyed by the Atlas fire.
- Segassia Vineyard: The winery and its ancient vineyards are gone.
- Signorello Estate Vineyards: Significant damage, though the company has vowed to rebuild.
- Sill Family Vineyards: Winery is a “total and complete loss,” according to Owner Igor Sill. “Amazingly the vineyards are untouched.”
- Sky Vineyards: Sustained fire damage but is still standing.
- Stags’ Leap Winery: Photos show fire damage, but the extent is unclear.
- Storybook Mountain Vineyards: The historic winery is safe, but a separate building holding library wines was lost.
- White Rock Vineyards: Suffered significant damage.
- Ahh Winery: The winery building was completely destroyed, along with its water system.
- Ancient Oak Cellars: Home, two barns, and tasting counter have been destroyed. The winery’s vineyard at Siert Ranch also damaged.
- Gundlach Bundschu Winery: Owner’s home burned, and California’s oldest family winery sustained some damage.
- Korbin Kameron: Glen Ellen winery lost buildings and part of the vineyard.
- Nicholson Ranch: Still intact, damage was not significant.
- Paradise Ridge Winery: The winery has burned down but the estate vineyards survived. The winery still has a tasting room and herb garden on its Kenwood property.
- Backbone Vineyard: Redwood Valley winery was destroyed, “along with all our wine made over the past five years,” according to Owner Sattie Clark.
- Frey Vineyards Winery: Lost its winery and bottling facility but a wine-storage warehouse escaped damage.
- Oster Wine Cellars: Redwood Valley winery has been substantially damaged, according to reports.
Wildfires Rage Across Napa / Sonoma Counties, Burn Homes and Force Evacuation: CBS News Video
Massive wildfires leave behind another threat long after the smoke clears – ash, which is full of heavy metals and toxins that will seep into the soil and eventually flow into the aquatic ecosystem, and possibly even the San Francisco Bay. No one yet knows the extent of the devastation caused by the Napa County fires of 2017.
PG&E Wants Lawsuits Separated
On November 9, 2017, PG&E filed a motion with the California Judicial Council for Coordinated Proceedings, arguing that the 15 pending lawsuits against the company should not be merged into consolidated litigation. The company argues that the fires are all separate and different, and the complaints should all go before different judges in separate jurisdictions.
Do I have a Napa County Fire Lawsuit?
The Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Napa fire lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new personal injury and property damage cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Evaluation: Again, if you were injured or someone you know died in the Napa / Sonoma County fires, or if you are a winery owner or own another business that suffered property damage, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.