Punitive Damages Add To Costs For Pacificorp’s Role In 2020 Wildfires

"Two days after jurors in Multnomah County found that the utility PacifiCorp was to blame for wildfires in 2020, they ordered the company to pay punitive damages. That’s in addition to the more than $70 million already owed to the plaintiffs in the case.

Punitive damages are intended to act as a deterrent to future negligent behavior in civil cases. In PacifiCorp’s case, Wednesday’s decision by the jury will add to a pot of money headed toward potentially thousands more people who signed up as part of a class action lawsuit against the company.

The jury’s decision will require PacifiCorp to pay 0.25 times any economic and non-economic damages applied in the case. For the 17 named plaintiffs, that is likely to raise their owed damages to somewhere near $90 million."

Ryan Haas reports for OPB June 16, 2023.

Source: OPB, 06/28/2023