Octogenarians File Suit Against SCE Over Woolsey Fire

Traffic is jammed on Pacific Coast Highway on Friday, Nov. 9, as thousands evacuate Malibu, with smoke from the Woolsey Fire blowing over the Santa Monica Mountains.

Three local seniors—two of them in their 80s—filed suit against Southern California Edison this week “alleging that the utility caused the 2018 Woolsey Fire through negligence and improper maintenance of its power lines,” according to information provided by the firm representing them, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack. The suit was filed in California Superior Court on Monday, April 1, seeking “just compensation and damages for [the plaintiffs’] losses.”

All three plaintiffs were Malibu homeowners; Douglas Richardson, 81, lived on a property known as McReynolds Ranch, which was reportedly destroyed in the fire. 

“My property was my whole life and is now uninhabitable” Richardson, who is legally blind, said in a prepared statement. “Over the last 50 years, I’ve planted countless trees and flowers on the property, which is known as McReynolds Ranch. The fire destroyed all of it, and the loss of the vegetation has left the land vulnerable to flood and erosion.” He now lives in what was described as a “poorly-ventilated abandoned machine shop in an industrial garage in Chatsworth.”

The Robinsons, including William, 89, lost their home on Bonsall Drive. They then sold their property because they felt they would not be able to rebuild.