Let Us Help You Rebuild
The wildfires that spread through Lahaina on August 8, 2023, were the deadliest in more than a century. They destroyed the homes and businesses of thousands of Lahaina residents and caused nearly 100 people to perish. Along with our Maui-based co-counsel, Berger Montague seeks to assist all affected by the Lahaina wildfires in rebuilding their lives. The investigation into the cause of the wildfires is ongoing but we will do everything possible to hold accountable those at fault for this devastating loss of life and property.
Read on for more about Maui fire claims, who may have a case, and how the Berger Montague team can help.
Summary of the Maui Wildfire Lawsuits
On August 8, 2023, a blaze began on Maui, Hawaii that would destroy well over 2,000 structures and claim a suspected 115 lives with many more missing. The physical and emotional toll is staggering. The astronomic financial strain only adds to the trauma and distress — with insurance payments far under what people deserve and companies not taking accountability. The University of Hawaii’s Pacific Disaster Center and the Federal Emergency Management Agency state that rebuilding Maui could cost over 5 billion dollars.
What Are the Allegations Being Made in the Lahaina Fire Litigation?
While the investigation continues, the prevailing causes of the 2023 Maui fires seem to be the actions and inactions of the Hawaii electric utility companies. Their alleged negligence centers on their ignoring infrastructure issues and weather advisory warnings, poor maintenance of poles and equipment, opting not to de-energize their power system, and failing to maintain the brush under their power lines, among others.
Allegations claim that Hawaiian Electric Company:
- Knew West Maui had become drier over the years and was plagued by very flammable non-native vegetation
- Saw but ignored the same instigating factors behind the 2018 Oahu and Maui fires appearing again (similar winds and weather conditions)
- Chose to ignore the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Red Flag Warning about the incoming Hurricane Dora’s 70-mile-per-hour winds.
- Opted not to shut off power as per the recommended Public Safety Power Shutoffs
Some discrepancies are already popping up. For instance, the electric companies called into question claimed their downed power lines were de-energized long before the fires caught and weren’t an instigating factor. The County of Maui claims that, in fact, the downed power lines that fell into the overgrown brush below were a critical part of the resulting destruction.
Who Are the Defendants?
Currently, multiple lawsuits have named the following as defendants: Maui Electric Company, Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company, and Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. However, it’s possible this list could grow as our investigation continues.
Do I Have a Potential Case in the Maui Wildfire Lawsuit?
You might. Any Maui citizen who experienced a loss, be it personal or property, or sustained an injury or lost a loved one due to the Lahaina fires may have a viable claim.
What Compensation Could Be Available in a Maui Fire Case?
While your homeowners or renters’ insurance may cover the cost of some property damage losses, there are other very significant claims that are not covered by insurance, including financial losses, personal injury and wrongful death.
The people of Maui are facing mounting medical bills, including mental health treatment and recovery and property replacement costs. In these cases, recoverable damages can include the costs to rebuild property and past and future medical costs. Other economic damages might be losses sustained by businesses, lost wages (both past and present), and costs of evaluation and displacement.
Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium. In some cases, the defendant(s) might be commanded to pay punitive damages.
Similar to personal injury cases, plaintiffs can claim compensation for a variety of reasons. In the more particular case of the aftermath of the Hawaiian wildfires, the people of Maui could receive compensation for:
- Wrongful deaths
- Burn injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to or complete loss of a business property
- Damaged to or complete loss of personal properties, including homes
- Loss of business earnings
- The financial strain of mandatory evacuations
- Inadequate insurance coverage
Let us help you begin to pick up the pieces to rebuild your life and rebuild Lahaina. With over five decades of proven results, we can help ensure the maximum compensation available.
What Documentation Do I Need for a Maui Fire Claim?
Survivors of the Maui wildfires have gone through enough. Right now, you simply need to allege that you lost a loved one or lost something important and we can handle the rest. Our team of skilled litigators has extensive experience conducting investigations, interviewing witnesses, and filling out all the paperwork on behalf of our clients. We’ll focus on both the big picture and the minute details so you can focus on healing.
Contact Berger Montague
Berger Montague opened its doors in 1970 and now more than 50 years later is an industry leader and legal giant. The firm’s founding member, David Berger, is regarded as one of the architects in creating the antitrust and securities litigation class action world as we know it today.
Since the firm’s inception, the Berger Montague’s award-winning legal team has won hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients through settlements and trial verdicts. Berger Montague has legal champions in nearly every practice area. We take on cases in consumer protection, defective products, sex abuse lawsuits, intellectual property, employee law, healthcare, credit reporting/background checks, environmental law & public health, and more.
We can’t and won’t sit idly by in the face of injustice. Bringing much-needed compensation to those facing insurmountable loss in the face of the Lahaina fires is of extreme importance to us. Although no amount of money can truly replace what was taken, the citizens of Maui deserve compensation for what they have been through. Set up a free consultation with Berger Montague’s environmental law team to find out how we can help you rebuild one step at a time.