Lawyers Help You Establish Liability

Our team of Maui fire lawyers is here to help you recover financial compensation for losses that may not be covered by your insurance company. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.

Following wildfire disasters in California like the 2017 North Bay wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire, big plaintiff law firms flooded the affected areas to sign up residents for lawsuits against utility companies that caused the damage. Often, these companies send representatives to local towns and cities to meet with potential clients and hand out flyers and radio spots. These tactics have helped them win millions of dollars in settlements from California utilities like PG&E Corp. But it’s more complicated to do in Hawaii, where tourists often visit fire-scarred towns and regions and have little experience with wildfire damage or insurance claims.

Maui’s 2023 Lahaina fire burned over 2,000 acres of residential and commercial property and destroyed several historic buildings and structures. One of the fire’s primary causes was power lines from investor-owned electric utility Hawaiian Electric Co. In lawsuits filed by local property owners, HECO’s negligence – including failure to implement Public Safety Power Shutoffs – is blamed for the massive wildfire that swept through Lahaina.

Maui Fire Lawyers Help You Establish Liability

The lawsuits say that HECO knew or should have known that dry weather conditions in Hawaii increased the risks of wildfires. But the lawsuits also accuse the company of failing to prioritize wildfire risk management practices. The lawsuits claim that the company “inexcusably kept its power lines energized” on August 8, even after the National Weather Service issued high wind warnings and fire dangers for West Maui, as well as the rest of the state.

Hawaiian Electric fire lawyers

When the National Weather Service warned that strong winds from Hurricane Dora could bring down or spark wildfires, HECO opted to keep its lines energized rather than take preventive action, as it had done in the past during other storms. The lawsuits claim that this decision exacerbated the effects of the fires, and led to a greater loss of life and property than would have occurred otherwise.

One lawsuit alleges that HECO’s negligence was responsible for the Lahaina fire, which killed three people and destroyed over 100 homes. The lawsuits seek tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Despite the devastating effects of the Maui fire, insurance companies have been slow to pay survivors for their losses. As a result, victims are facing significant hardships. Many survivors have had to spend valuable time preparing personal property inventories, an often arduous process that involves taking photos of lost items and listing them by category. For some survivors, this process has been traumatic and overwhelming.

Insurers are required to pay for a limited amount of survivor losses related to the fires, but the insurers have been denying claims for losses that aren’t included in the policy limits. The lawsuits against HECO allege that the company was able to deny or delay payment of these claims, putting the survivors’ lives and livelihoods at risk.