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Marshall Fire Attorneys group holds town hall about mass action lawsuit against Xcel Energy

Several legal firms argue that Xcel Energy is liable for the Marshall Fire
Posted at 10:43 AM, Jun 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-12 08:33:11-04

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Marshall Fire homeowners gathered for a town hall in Louisville Saturday to hear from a group of attorneys as they prepare civil litigation against Xcel Energy for its alleged role in the fire.

On Thursday, Denver7 first reported that several legal firms have formed the Marshall Fire Attorneys group, aiming to prove that the utility company is responsible for the Marshall Fire. On the same day, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office explained the destructive fire had two causes.

Investigators say the fire likely began as a result of a buried fire on a residential property and a disconnected Xcel power line.

The Marshall Fire eventually destroyed 1,084 homes.


Coverage of the 2021 Marshall Fire

6:15 AM, Jan 04, 2022

"Some of [the survivors] had their hair on fire, their clothes on fire. They left barefoot, they lost all their belongings, their cherished items that are irreplaceable. It's one of the worst things that I've ever seen in my life in Boulder County," said attorney Jayson Swigart with the California-based Swigart Law Group, now part of the Marshall Fire Attorneys group.

The group is already representing dozens of Marshall Fire survivors in the mass action lawsuit. They're working with Boulder-based Resolve Law Group.

"Xcel Energy is going to try to say that this was an act of God that was not foreseeable. But the reality is that there have been 100+ wind events going back to 1985. This is nothing out of the ordinary. It's really going to come down to the design of these power lines," explained Geoff Spreter, wildfire attorney with California-based Maynor Law Firm.

Marshall Fire Attorneys group holds town hall about mass action lawsuit against Xcel Energy

A specific challenge ahead is to prove which of the two initial fires damaged their clients' homes. They say they will be using a team of experts and evidence to determine where those two initial fires burned and when they merged into one fire.

They noted at Saturday's meeting that they plan to argue that once the fires merged, Xcel Energy continued to be liable for the damage caused afterward. Attorneys voiced confidence they anticipate Xcel to eventually settle the litigation, adding, if that's the case, it could take multiple years.

"Every company in Colorado has a duty to operate safely. Here, Xcel didn't do that. They had the knowledge of the winds, and they had the opportunity to cut the power off, but they didn't do those things. They kept the power running. The lines touched each other; the sparks arced, and it's just clear evidence to support that they started the fire in a negligent way," said Scott Maynor of Maynor Law Firm.

Xcel Energy release this statement to Denver7 in response to the lawsuit:

Our thoughts are with the families and communities impacted by the devastating wildfire in Boulder County. We agree with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office report that the Marshall Fire started as a result of an ignition on a property (5325 Eldorado Springs Drive) previously reported to be affiliated with an entity called the Twelve Tribes, and that this ignition had nothing to do with Xcel Energy’s powerlines. The Sheriff’s report cites several potential causes for a second ignition near the Marshall Mesa Trailhead that started roughly an hour after the first fire. We believe the second fire burned into an area already burned by the fire from the first ignition, and did not cause damage to any homes or businesses. We strongly disagree with any suggestion that Xcel Energy’s powerlines caused the second ignition, which according to the report started 80 to 110 feet away from Xcel Energy’s powerlines in an area with underground coal fire activity. Xcel Energy did not have the opportunity to review and comment on the analyses relied on by the Sheriff’s Office and believes those analyses are flawed and their conclusions are incorrect.  We have reviewed our maintenance records and believe the system was properly maintained. We operate and maintain our electric system consistent with leading energy service practices and we’re proud of our employees and the work they do to deliver safe, reliable and clean energy to our communities. As members of the Boulder community, we will continue to support our neighbors in this recovery.

The Marshall Fire Attorneys group is still accepting clients up until the statute of limitations to bring forward litigation ends, which is in December. If you are interested in learning more about their legal efforts, you can email or visit their website at

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