Judge Burns Chance of Class-Action in Wildfire Suits

A judge has ruled against two class-action motions stemming from the 2007 wildfires that could have added hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs to the case.

Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss rejected the motions Thursday, saying it would "further complicate an already complex procedure."

More than 70 lawsuits, encompassing more than 1,000 victims, have been filed against San Diego Gas and Electric. Two state investigations have concluded that the utility's power lines ignited three fires in October 2007.

Some of the lawyers involved have been pushing for the creation of two "classes" of victims: those directly damaged by the fires; and people who suffered because they had to be evacuated from their homes. Strauss rejected both, which means cases that have been filed so far will proceed as individual lawsuits.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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