CVN (March, 7 2024) — Portland, OR – An Oregon state court jury awarded $42 million on Monday to 10 plaintiffs who blamed electric utility PacifiCorp for their property damage in the Labor Day Fire of 2020, and the full trial was webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

PacifiCorp could potentially face billions of dollars in the class action litigation, after another Oregon jury last June found the company liable for the fire and teed up a process to determine damages for the roughly 5,000-member class using a series of “mini-bellwether trials.” That initial trial also included an award of $90 million to 17 plaintiff homeowners.

The first mini-bellwether took place last month and ended in an $85 million award to nine additional plaintiffs, and the next trial is set for late April. After that the parties will likely enter a mediation in an attempt to hammer out a large-scale settlement using the bellwether verdicts as guideposts.

Both of the previous trials were also webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN, and all the proceedings are available for unlimited on-demand viewing, along with hundreds of other trials, as part of CVN’s online trial video library.

The Labor Day Fire of 2020 caused damage on a historic scale for Oregon property owners. The blaze burned through over 1,875 square miles and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and structures.

Plaintiff class members accuse PacifiCorp of failing to deactivate portions of their power grid ahead of a predicted high-wind storm, in addition to accusing the company of failing to adequately trim flammable vegetation around some of their lines.

However PacifiCorp, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, is appealing and argued drastic actions like a widespread power grid deactivation would have had a detrimental impact on first responders and emergency facilities like hospitals. Read more here.