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UPDATE: Appeals court says joint Station Fire lawsuit OK

Posted: September 18, 2012 2:00 p.m.
Updated: September 18, 2012 5:29 p.m.

An appeals court says 34 people can jointly sue a California insurer that denied or underpaid damage claims sought after the 2009 Station Fire.

The plaintiffs filed suit in 2010 against the California FAIR Plan Association, a last-resort insurer for people who can’t get private coverage, for breach of contract, unfair business practices and other violations.

The association argued that trying the claims together could bias jurors, and a Superior Court judge agreed.

But a three-judge appeals panel on Monday overturned the ruling, saying the complaints were derived from the same natural disaster and similar allegations against the insurer.

The Station Fire scorched almost 170,000 acres, destroyed more than 100 homes and killed two Los Angeles County firefighters after it erupted August 26, 2009, in the Angeles National Forest.

The blaze destroyed some structures in the Acton-Agua Dulce area but spared most of the Santa Clarita Valley.






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