Mill Fire Attorney

The Mill Fire burned and destroyed homes north of Sacramento in September 2022, prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents. In less than 24 hours, it destroyed nearly 4,000 acres of land and shows no sign of stopping.

Early reports suggest that the fire may have started near Roseburg Forest Products. Our California Mill Fire attorneys are actively investigating this fire to determine if Roseburg Forest Products is to blame.

If you have suffered losses from the Mill fire, Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, LLP, is here to help. We have handled thousands of claims for victims of preventable wildfires. We will work with you to help determine how you should be compensated for your losses in this tragedy.

We Are Investigating the Causes of the Mill Fire

On September 2, 2022, the Mill Fire started in a warehouse in Weed, CA before spreading to a nearby neighborhood and quickly growing from there. According to Cal Fire’s incident report, the fire ravaged nearly 4,000 acres and consumed more than 100 homes. Two people were killed in the blaze, and another three were injured. Information that has surfaced since the fire began indicates that it was far from simply an act of nature caused by the dry, hot weather that Northern California was experiencing at the time.

Roseburg Forest Products, which operates a mill in Weed that manufactures wood veneer products, admitted within days that the fire appeared to have originated in one of their structures. This was known as Shed 17, a 60-foot tall wooden structure that housed a large concrete container used to store smoldering ash from the company’s wood cogeneration power plant. The ash was used to produce electricity that was later sold to a conglomeration of utility companies from around the state.

While Roseburg issued a statement less than a week after the fire began in which the company asserted its belief that the fire started because of a malfunctioning sprinkler system provided by a third party, statements by current and former employees indicate that the Mill Creek fire was not the first time that a fire started in Shed 17.

 

If you were among the many people who lost their homes, suffered an injury, or even lost a loved one due to the Mill Fire, you could seek compensation for the financial and psychological impacts of your loss or injury by filing a claim against Roseburg’s insurance policy.

While the company has stated that you do not need an attorney to file a claim, there are many reasons why you should.

A Mill Fire attorney from Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel can provide you with an honest assessment of your claim and discuss how our legal team can help you. Our California wildfire lawyers have helped thousands of victims recover millions of dollars in damages for the losses caused by negligent parties like Roseburg, PG&E, and PacifiCorp.

While we are a local law firm, we have demonstrated that we have the resources and skills needed to obtain full compensation from large corporations whose negligence harms ordinary people and businesses. Our reputation as trial lawyers can encourage defendants to offer reasonable settlements, but if they won’t we can go to court to secure the compensation you deserve. We have obtained more than $600 million for our clients over the last 40 years, including some of the state’s largest single-plaintiff jury verdicts.

If the Mill Fire damaged your property, business, or health, you can contact Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel now for your free case evaluation and consultation. Do you have questions? We are here to answer them. We won’t charge you for speaking with us, and what you tell us is confidential.

We are currently representing victims of the Mill Fire, and providing free advice to anyone who has been affected or displaced. If you had to evacuate due to the Mill Fire, we can help. Our California wildfire attorneys offer compassionate, aggressive legal guidance through this difficult time and help you obtain the money you need.

At Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, we will take on your Mill fire claim and negotiate with insurance companies at no charge. There is no attorney fee charged if we do not obtain a recovery for you. It’s that simple.

Why do we do this? We do this because we know the pain and devastation a wildfire brings. You’ve suffered enough, let us fight for you.

While we are a local law firm, we have demonstrated that we have the resources and skills needed to obtain full compensation from large corporations whose negligence harms ordinary people and businesses. Our reputation as trial lawyers can encourage defendants to offer reasonable settlements, but if they won’t we can go to court to secure the compensation you deserve. We have obtained more than $600 million for our clients over the last 40 years, including some of the state’s largest single-plaintiff jury verdicts.

If the Mill Fire damaged your property, business, or health, you can contact Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel now for your free case evaluation and consultation. Do you have questions? We are here to answer them. We won’t charge you for speaking with us, and what you tell us is confidential.

Stay tuned regarding the dates of our upcoming town hall meetings
Call today : (530) 241-0290

Typical fire damage losses you can recover

If someone else is responsible for a fire that destroyed your home or business, we can help.
Fire damage lawsuits can not only help you recover your losses, but also make sure that the people responsible for starting the fire are held responsible. These lawsuits can force them to take preventative measures so other people don’t experience the same catastrophe in the future.

Compensation claims can include:

  • Damage to your home
  • Damage to your business property
  • Damage to your ranch lands or equipment
  • Business disruption
  • Lost income or living expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Personal injury
  • Wrongful death

What Caused the Mill Fire?

According to Roseburg’s statement on September 7, the company was investigating whether the fire started from the third-party spraying machine—designed to lower the temperature of smoldering ash that was transferred from the generator to the concrete storage bin housed in Shed 17.

The company noted that while the cause of the fire was yet to be determined, they consulted their insurance provider and proactively encouraged those who suffered losses to file claims. Additionally, the company plans to provide $50 million for a community restoration fund that is intended to assist those who have been displaced with initial needs, such as temporary housing, clothing, medical supplies and treatment, and daycare for their children.

The company added that the $50 million fund and the encouragement of residents to file claims against their insurance was simply a part of their commitment to do right by the Weed community, not an admission of guilt.

Let our team help you get the compensation you deserve:

Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, LLP, has obtained more than $600 million for our clients–including clients who have suffered losses in wildfires. We have built a reputation for handling the most complex and high-stakes personal injury lawsuits involving catastrophic injury, permanent disability, disfigurement, or wrongful death.

If you need our help, don’t hesitate to contact us. We won’t charge you for a confidential consultation, and we would be happy to discuss how to get the assistance you and your family need.

    Here’s how we help:

    • We advance all costs necessary to investigate and litigate our client’s case.
    • We rely on our team of medical and investigative experts to work with the authorities and conduct additional investigations to determine if the fire was, in fact, caused by the negligent acts of a person or entity.
    • We gather evidence to show how the at-fault party acted negligently, and how that carelessness led to the fire.
    • We gather evidence of the losses our client has already faced, and we demonstrate, through economic projections, the loss in profit or income our client and their family will suffer as a result of the fire damage.
    • We present this evidence to the at-fault party. We then attempt to negotiate a fair resolution that takes into consideration all of the ways our client’s life has been impacted.
    • If the at-fault party does not accept our demand, we refuse to settle for less than what our client’s case is worth. We use our team of experts and our skill as trial lawyers to prove to a jury exactly why our clients deserve full compensation for their losses.
    • Our clients only pay us if we win.

    What Witnesses and Employees Say About the Fire

    According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, a former superintendent at Roseburg’s cogeneration plant stated that they first experienced a fire in Shed 17 within two weeks of starting the job. They worked for the company between 2016 and 2019.

    At that time, they recall panicking about the situation while noticing that their coworkers were nonchalant. They indicated that the subdued reaction from coworkers was due to fires being common in the shed. A current team member backed up this statement, noting that fires occasionally occurred in the shed but were quickly extinguished and never regarded as a big deal.

    The current team member also said that the company has been using the shed to store ash from its cogeneration plant for 17 years. The ash was held in a concrete storage container that was 10 feet tall and had no lid. Trucks came in each day to remove the ash.

    Witnesses say they watched the 60-foot tall, wooden warehouse facility known as Shed 17 go up in flames. The fire then spread off the Roseburg property and into a nearby neighborhood.

    Who Is Liable For Compensating Fire Victims?

    While Roseburg has often asserted that they believe a malfunctioning third-party spraying machine caused the fire, their admissions and employees’ statements indicate that Roseburg has at least partial liability.

    Businesses are required to regularly inspect their property for property hazards that could cause harm to others. When such hazards are identified, they must be adequately mitigated. The company’s attorney stated that it had checked the spraying machines recently and found them in proper working order, as well as the high-powered fire hose within the building.

    A business is not liable for hazardous conditions they did not know about or have any reason to know about. However, the presence of the fire hose and sprayer indicates that they knew there was a hazard of the smoldering ash igniting within the storage facility. The statements from current and former employees about previous fires ignited in the facility indicate that the business had reason to know that the hazard was more than a possibility; it was an eventuality.

    Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, Roseburg has asked that their insurance provider open up the claims process in Weed, with claims being evaluated by professional claims adjusters.

    “Residents would not need a lawyer to file their claims,” the Roseburg statement read. “If community members are not satisfied with the adjuster’s offer of payment, they would then be free to seek legal counsel to request a different amount.”

    At least one lawsuit has already been filed against Roseburg by a family who lost their home in the fire.

    You Do Not Need the Company’s Permission to Seek Legal Counsel

    Contrary to the implication of Roseburg’s statement, individuals seeking compensation for the loss of their homes, their belongings, their health, or even the life of a loved one do not need permission from the insurance company to seek legal assistance with their claim. They also do not need to wait to determine if they are happy with the claims adjuster’s offer before consulting an attorney.

     

    There are many reasons to obtain assistance from a Mill Fire attorney before engaging with the insurance provider. First, insurance companies are not in the business of rebuilding communities or making things right for those who have suffered injuries or losses due to their insured’s negligence. Insurance companies are in the business of making money off of premiums. One of the ways they protect their bottom line is by hiring claims adjusters to evaluate claims made against their policies and determine how much compensation (if any) is owed to the claimant. On the surface, having a trained insurance professional evaluate a claim does not sound like a bad idea. However, it is important to remember who they work for and the company’s mission.

    Claims adjusters often use questionable tactics to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. These may include telling the claimant they do not need an attorney or telling them the settlement they are being offered is the maximum compensation available. An attorney with experience in property damage or personal injury claims is familiar with these tactics and able to protect the value of their client’s claims.

    What Is the Process of Seeking Compensation For Injuries or Losses Resulting from the Mill Fire?

    Generally, the first step in seeking compensation for injuries, losses, and property damage is to hire an attorney to assist you with the claim. An attorney can provide the experience and legal knowledge necessary to help you navigate the process from start to finish.

    The attorney and their legal team will thoroughly investigate your case to determine all sources of liability. You need a lawyer who can identify all of the liable parties because each one potentially offers a liability insurance policy that can provide compensation.

    With the number of claims being filed against one policy, the amount of compensation available to each claimant is likely less due to insurance policy limits.

    Once the attorney has gathered all of the information about the expenses and the physical and psychological impacts you suffered as a result of the Mill Fire, they can determine a value for your claim. The claim is then filed with the insurance provider, and a claims adjuster is assigned to your case.

    The adjuster will conduct interviews and evaluate the documentation included in the claim and can take one of three options.

    1. The insurer can acknowledge the insured’s liability and approve payment of the claim.
    2. The insurer can deny the insured’s liability and provide a reason for the denial to the claimant.
    3. The insurer can offer to settle the claim out-of-court for less than its total value.

    Suppose the insurer fails to compensate the claim. In that case, it can be filed as a lawsuit in court for a judge or jury to review the evidence and witness testimony and make decisions on matters of liability and compensation. However, to use the court process, the lawsuit must be filed by a specific deadline known as the statute of limitations.

    Claimants in California seeking compensation for property damage only have three years to file a lawsuit from when their losses occurred. Claimants seeking compensation for injuries or a loved one’s death, with or without the inclusion of property damage, must file a lawsuit within two years of the date on which the injury or death occurred.

    What Type of Compensation Can I Recover?

    Property damage claimants are entitled to the value of the items they lost, including their home and personal property. While the cost of many of these items is calculated based on fair market value, claimants are permitted to attach an increased value to items that are special to them. Additionally, claimants can seek compensation for other out-of-pocket costs they incurred due to the fire, such as a rental car and temporary housing.

    Personal injury claimants are permitted to seek compensation for financial impacts they incurred due to their injury, such as medical expenses, wage loss, loss of future earning capacity, and property damage. They can also seek compensation for the psychological impacts of their injury, such as physical pain and suffering or emotional distress.

    Wrongful death claimants can seek compensation for financial losses they experienced as a result of their loved one’s death, such as: the loss of services and support, final medical expenses, loss of inheritance, and gifts they could reasonably expect to receive from the decedent if they had lived, and the cost of a funeral service and burial or cremation. They can also seek compensation for emotional impacts they incurred as a result of the loss, such as loss of comfort, companionship, comfort, guidance, and moral support.

    How Can an Attorney Help Me With My Claim?

    No amount of money can fully restore all that was lost in Weed as a result of the Mill Fire. However, obtaining compensation for your losses and/or injury is an integral part of moving forward, both on an individual level as well as a community level.

    A Mill Fire attorney from Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel can provide more information about the claims process, answer the legal questions you have about your case, and tell you about the services our team is prepared to provide to the residents of Weed as they make their claims. Roseburg has an attorney to assist them in this process. Their insurance provider also has legal counsel that they have undoubtedly consulted about Mill Fire claims. You should have an attorney on your side too.

    Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel offers personalized legal solutions to all of your Mill Fire-related losses. No two cases are alike, and we know that every client has individual needs. Our highly qualified team is committed to helping victims get the maximum compensation possible after an accident.

    For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (530) 241-0290. We will discuss the details of your case with you, explore every aspect of what happened, and help you reclaim the compensation you deserve.

    Upcoming Mill Fire Town Hall Meetings:

    Sons of Italy Hall

    155 Clay Street
    Weed, CA 96094
    Tuesday, September 27th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Lake Shastina Golf Resort

    5925 Country Club Dr.
    Weed, CA 96094
    Wednesday, September 28th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Sons of Italy Hall

    155 Clay Street
    Weed, CA 96094
    Tuesday, October 4th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Lake Shastina Golf Resort

    5925 Country Club Dr.
    Weed, CA 96094
    Wednesday, October 5th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Sons of Italy Hall

    155 Clay Street
    Weed, CA 96094
    Tuesday, October 11th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Lake Shastina Golf Resort

    5925 Country Club Dr.
    Weed, CA 96094
    Wednesday, October 12th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Sons of Italy Hall

    155 Clay Street
    Weed, CA 96094
    Tuesday, October 18th
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Lake Shastina Golf Resort

    5925 Country Club Dr.
    Weed, CA 96094
    Wednesday, October 19th
    5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

    Sons of Italy Hall

    155 Clay Street
    Weed, CA 96094
    Thursday, November 17th
    5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

    Mr. Reiner and his team were extremely patient and kind with us. They explained everything twice if needed and went above and beyond what was required of an attorney. They made a very difficult situation bearable, handling parts of our case they normally don’t. If we ever needed an attorney again we’d definitely use them and definitely recommended then to others.

    ~ Janet C.

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