In-N-Out is being sued for $1.2million for starting a wildfire in 2017 by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Cal Fire filed suit against the burger chain for starting the Huasna Fire on September 20, which eventually burned 245 acres and took four days to put out.
The lawsuit says the fire was started when grass cuttings on the deck of a tractor mower were ignited by a hot clutch, then blew on to nearby dry grass piles.
In the suit, which was filed in September this year according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, says the fire started on land at Huasna Road in Arroyo Grande.
The land is owned and managed by In-N-Out, but it is not clear what for since it is not close to the chain’s restaurant in the area.
Cal Fire accuses the tractor driver of allowing the fire to spread to surrounding vegetation and brush, and accuses the restaurant chain of improperly maintaining the tractor, causing the clutch to overheat.
The filing shows that Cal Fire sent requests for payment to In-N-Out in March and August this year, but received no response.
In-N-Out is far from the only company to find itself facing massive lawsuits following wildfires in California.
Utility company PG&E is reportedly nearing a $1.7billion settlement with the California Public Utilities Commission over another 2017 fire which it says was caused by improperly maintained equipment.
The firm has already declared bankruptcy after agreeing to pay out $11billion in insurance claims from wine country fires in 2017 and massive Camp Fire in 2018.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Chris Pleasance