NFL hall-of-famer Eric Dickerson is among 170 people who filed a lawsuit Thursday worth hundreds of millions of dollars against an electricity company for allegedly starting the devastating Woolsey Fire in California.
Other notable victims of the November blaze seeking restitution from utility firm Southern California Edison (SCE) include celebrity photographer Kevin Foley and three-time Oscar-winning sound engineer Chris Jenkins.
The plaintiffs’ losses, which they say SCE should pay for, include a couple’s mansion with a $8 million collection of 71 rare automobiles and motorcycles, an artist’s $1 million collection of paintings, a 6,000 ft home with a photography studio that was meant to be rented to Lady Gaga for the whole of December, and Motley Crue member Nikki Sixx’s former mansion with a 50-60 tree orchard and two aviaries.
The suit, if successful, is likely to take a big chunk out of SCE’s $1 billion fire insurance policy.
On November 8, strong winds combined with drought to make the perfect conditions for the Woolsey Fire which destroyed more than 1,600 properties and swept through almost 100,000 acres of Ventura County and Los Angeles County.
The inferno was sparked, the lawsuit claims, by power lines clashing together in the high winds on the site of the Santa Susana Field Lab near Simi Valley, sending sparks flying into the dry vegetation below.
Lawyers for the fire victims say the fire began ‘directly beneath SCE’s 16kV transmission power lines’ on the site, and they claim that SCE ‘failed to take adequate precautions to prevent its equipment from sparking the Woolsey Fire.’
Former NFL star Eric Dickerson, 58 – who played for the LA Rams among other teams and rushed for over 13,000 yards in a stunning 11 season career – says his home was damaged with ‘smoke and soot’ and he and his family ‘suffered severe emotional distress’ when they were evacuated.
Celebrity photographer Kevin Foley owned a 6,000ft home with 28-acres in Agoura Hills next to his studio, where Lady Gaga was set to shoot for the whole of December.
Foley evacuated his family and returned to fight off the blaze using a fire hose, but it burned down his entire property.
Foley’s neighbor, Chris Jenkins, a sound engineer who won three Oscars for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road, The Last of the Mohicans and Out of Africa, had been doing post production for the 2019 movie Shaft from his home studio, but lost his work in the fire along with his property.
SOURCE: RYAN PARRY, JOSH BOSWELL