Laguna Niguel Fire: Lawsuit claims SoCal Edison created 'perfect storm' that led to homes being destroyed

A lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Southern California Edison of creating a "perfect storm" that ultimately led to the Laguna Niguel fire that destroyed 20 homes last week

According to court documents obtained by FOX 11, the plaintiffs – represented by a Newport Beach-based law firm Bridgford, Gleason and Artinian – argue that SoCal Edison should be held liable for last week's horrific fire, which took firefighters about five days to fully contain the blaze.

The plaintiffs claim Coastal Fire could have been avoided had SoCal Edison "followed the standard of care in inspecting, maintaining, and repairing its overhead lines." The plaintiffs also argue the power supply company's alleged negligence "created the perfect storm for disaster," especially considering the region's drought and the dry vegetation surrounding the Laguna Niguel neighborhoods.

Below is one of the arguments claiming SoCal Edison should be held liable, in part, according to the court document:

"Had Defendants followed the standard of care in inspecting, maintaining, and repairing its overhead lines, properly maintaining its electrical equipment, and trimming away vegetation from its wires as required by law and industry standards, the catastrophic Coastal Fire could have been avoided. Instead, Defendants knowingly or negligently fell below those standards, and created the perfect storm for disaster when combined with the known presence of drought and dry vegetation which fuels this type of fire."

Last Wednesday, May 11, a brush fire in the Laguna Niguel area burned down 20 homes and damaged 11 other homes. The fire also forced residents from hundreds of homes to evacuate as crews battled the fires last week.


A fire broke out near the same area about three months ago. The Emerald Bay Fire sparked in Laguna Beach on the morning of February 10. Fire officials said the fire was contained at 150 acres.