Judge Dismisses Yarnell Homeowner’s Lawsuit, Knapp & Roberts Files Appeal
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama said the state did not have a duty to protect private property owners when the state’s Forestry Division managed the June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire. On behalf of our clients, about 100 Yarnell area residents who lost their home in the fire, we at Knapp & Roberts have filed a notice of appeal following this ruling in our case.
With the frequency of wildfires in Arizona, the judge’s dismissal is bad news for many Arizonans who live in wildland and fire zones. Right now, the state can abandon a fire and let homes go up in smoke with no real legal remedy for the residents. The Yarnell Fire destroyed 127 homes and caused an estimated $17 million in property damage across 8,400 acres. We have found that Arizona and its Forestry Division failed to use ground and air resources to suppress the fire and sent away key ground and air resources believing that the fire was dying out.
Had these resources been used, the 19 hotshots who died that day would still be alive and Yarnell homeowners and the community would have escaped devastation. For more information on the lawsuit we have filed, as well as another lawsuit we have filed on behalf on three families of Yarnell hotshots, read our blog here.
AZCentral.com reported on this decision, as well. Watch the video below.
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