Wineries in the Willamette Valley want PacifiCorp to pay $20 million for damage to grape crops caused by 2020 Labor Day wildfires. Lawsuits filed in Yamhill, Polk, and Lane counties contend that negligence on the six-state utility’s equipment sparked wildfires and its Oregon operation, Pacific Power, allowed them to spread by refusing to shut off power despite warnings. The new lawsuits follow a month after a Multnomah County jury found PacifiCorp grossly negligent, reckless, and willful in contributing to four wildfires that damaged crops for wineries and awarded $90 million in compensatory and punitive damages to 17 plaintiffs. Although PacifiCorp is appealing that case, more lawsuits are expected, perhaps even class-action claims that could cost PacifiCorp billions, according to the journal.
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