In the news

California-based law firms have filed at least two complaints against Hawaiian utility companies alleging that fires which tore through West Maui on Aug. 8 were ignited by power lines.

Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis of Santa Barbara and Robertson & Associates of Westlake Village on Aug. 12 joined Honolulu’s Lippsmith firm in a class-action filing to Hawaii’s 1st Circuit Court, naming Monica and Rede Eder as initial plaintiffs [1CCV-23-0001045]. A second class-action suit was filed Aug. 12 to Hawaii’s 2nd Circuit Court by Hawaiian firm Revere & Associates and including Hawaii-based lawyers Richard Wilson and Kyle Smith as counsel; it names Nova Burnes as the initial plaintiff [2CCV-23-0000224].

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Robert Curtis, managing partner at the Santa Barbara-based law firm Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis, has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America for exceptional work representing plaintiffs in mass tort litigation and class action lawsuits.

Curtis is listed in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Inclusion in the publication is based on a comprehensive peer-review survey, which for the current edition comprised of more than 13.7 million confidential evaluations.

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Three law firms filed a class-action lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric on Saturday, alleging that the utility’s downed power lines significantly contributed to the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

The complaint, obtained by Spectrum News, claims that Hawaiian Electric, which supplies 95% of the state’s power, “inexcusably kept their power lines energized during forecasted high fire danger conditions.”

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Attorneys for victims of the mudslides in Montecito have joined an earlier lawsuit against Southern California Edison over the Thomas fire, blaming actions by the giant utility and the Montecito Water District for the devastation that killed at least 20 people.

The lawsuit claims that the fire originated from two separate pole-mounted transformers owned and operated by SCE in Santa Paula and Upper Ojai. Driven by Santa Ana winds, the fire eventually grew to more than 281,000 acres, denuding hillsides above Montecito.

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The law firm Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis, LLP (FBBC), with offices in Santa Barbara, obtained a $9.75 million settlement on behalf of almost 1,200 individuals ensnared in a fraudulent life insurance investment scheme involving Life Settlements between 2004 and 2014.

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A Santa Barbara-based law firm has received a $56.4 million decision following a trial in a derivative action filed by two investors in a cannabis-related business in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Funds invested by the individuals were secretly misappropriated by defendants and used in various other businesses they owned. Defendants then sold those other businesses, reaping eight-figures in profit.

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During its Annual Gold Ribbon Campaign in September that expands across the Tri-County Region, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) is able to raise significant funds for its programs that serve families who have a child who has been diagnosed with cancer.

This year, an unexpected gift from the Santa Barbara law firm of Foley, Bezek, Behle & Curtis, LLP will enable the organization to continue to serve these families well into the future.

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The Coalition for Responsible Cannabis — a Santa Barbara County–based nonprofit that sprouted in 2017 as a way to encourage accountable and neighbor-friendly cannabis businesses on the Central Coast — filed a lawsuit Thursday against several cultivators, including Ceres Farms, Valley Crest Farms, and the Van Wingerden Family Trust, alleging that the growers are sustaining a stinky public nuisance with their subpar odor abatement.

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You might recognize the Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis from various letters to the editor and reader-submitted editorials that have run in the Montecito Journal, Carpinteria’s Coastal View News, and other local newspapers in Santa Barbara county. Although the group claims not to oppose cannabis per se, its members have consistently decried what they say is a lack of enforcement by county officials that has allowed certain communities, particularly Carpinteria, to become overwhelmed with the distinct odor of flowering marijuana.

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LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On Tuesday March 26, 2024, DeLorean Motor Company, represented by intellectual property and entertainment attorney, Roger N. Behle, Jr. of Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis, filed documents in California federal court announcing the settlement of DeLorean Motor Company’s lawsuit against NBCUniversal Media, LLC. over unpaid royalties and unauthorized use of the DeLorean trademarks for merchandising and commercial tie-ups involving the iconic DeLorean sports car from the “Back to the Future” film franchise.

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