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    Marshall Fire: Lawsuit against Xcel Energy moves forward after judge's ruling


    November 28, 2022 - Nick Wills

     

      BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – A recent ruling from a Boulder judge has allowed a class action lawsuit regarding the Marshall Fire's origins to proceed against a large energy company.

      The class action lawsuit was filed against Xcel Energy by a Boulder business owner who alleges that downed power lines in the area near Eldorado Springs Drive and Foothills Highway may have sparked up the blaze.

      Who is named in Xcel Energy lawsuit?

      According to court documents from Boulder, Xcel had filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out but Judge Christopher Clayton Zenisek denied the request.

      The lawsuit mentioned that a witness videotaped sparks flying out of a malfunctioning powerline located near a Shell gas station.

      "They believe that they have sufficient evidence at this time to meet their claims and they also probably believe that as the investigation matures and we get more information that will only support their claims," FOX31 legal analyst Chris Decker said back in April when this case was initially filed.

      There is no official cause of the Marshall Fire, but if it's determined that malfunctioning equipment owned by Xcel Energy contributed to this fire, which destroyed roughly 1,000 homes, scorched 6,000 acres and caused over $2 billion in damages, the energy company could face some hefty financial pressure.

      "[The plaintiffs] will be in the driver's seat of all the litigations," Decker said.

      A review is scheduled for Wednesday and will be followed by another court date after the new year.

      FOX31 will bring you updates on this lawsuit as they are released.

      Community reacts

      One woman who spoke to FOX31 said that the community needs answers.

      "I think having a resolution on this is the only way to get forward without more fear, more stress. I just hope that can bring some resolution to the lawsuit," Boulder resident Sarah Sager said. "They absolutely need as much evidence and to be as honest as they possibly can, because it's the only way that there could be that we could potentially avoid this in the future. If people are rebuilding and there's more risk of this or for the rest of the city and other neighborhoods, well anywhere really."

      The anniversary of the fire is Dec. 30.

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