Six more Notice of Claims from Yarnell fire victims were received Monday by the City of Prescott. This was in addition to seven Notice of Claims served on Friday, plus an amended Notice of Claim from the mother of deceased Granite Mountain Hotshot Grant McKee.
The Notice of Claims are filed against the State of Arizona, City of Prescott, Yavapai County and Yarnell Fire Distrct. All of the Claimants are using the same law firm, Knapp and Roberts, out of Scottsdale. If added all together, the claims total over $107,000,000.
The language is very similar from claim to claim for all except for the one for Marcia McKee. "We represent the above-named Claimants, who lost their peaceful community, their home, their peace of mind, and many of their worldly goods when the Yarnell Hill fire rampaged unchecked through Yarnell and surrounding communities on June 30, 2013," is the introductory statement.
"The Yarnell Hill fire destroyed their home, and much of Yarnell, because of the negligence, carelessness, and intentional misconduct of Yavapai County, the City of Prescott, the State of Arizona, and the Yarnell Fire District," the typical claim continues. "With reasonable professional planning and coordination of available firefighting resources, the firefighting managers could have prevented Yarnell's obliteration without endangering the Granite Mountain Hotshots or the other firefighters battling the Yarnell Hill fire."
The claims are seeking "reasonable damages" for items such as:
- Emotional distress
- The destruction of real-property structures
- The loss and destruction of personal property
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Lost community infrastructure
- Evacuation, relocation and living expenses
- Other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the Yarnell fire and the emergency evacuation.
Each claimant has an individually calculated amount they are asking for. All claimants have offered a settlement to the entities if they wish to pool their funds.
In the meantime, fundraising and recovery efforts are still underway from the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group. Monday afternoon, organization representative Kathy Montgomery issued this statement:
From the beginning, we at the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group have said that our focus is on the recovery and rebuilding of Yarnell.
While we recognize the right of all residents to seek legal assistance, we also acknowledge our obligation to be good stewards of the money and materials donated to us. We are exploring all avenues in order to do that with the appropriate state and county agencies.
It's important to say that a Notice of Claim is not a lawsuit, and we are not aware of any lawsuits filed by Yarnell residents. It's important to add that the Notice of Claims filed so far have not included any uninsured primary homeowners.
As over the past five months, we are confident that the rebuilding of Yarnell will continue in a positive manner.
Each claim is available for download below:
|Claimants||State of AZ||City of Prescott||Yavapai County||Yarnell Fire District||Total|
James E. Walker & Nancy L. Bruns
Bruce C. Bertmeyer & Effie J. Bertmeyer
Roy J. Pizziruso and Stacy P. Pizzirusso
Dorman E. Olson & Daniel W. Schroeder
The DeLange Revocable Living Trust, George Noel DeLange, Eva DeLange
Samuel E. Peer, Marvel A. Peer
Jack Aldridge & Judy Aldridge
Truman L. Ferrell, Lois A. Ferell
Russell E. Reason, Leah D. Reason
Gordon Acri, ACT Contracting, LLC
Charles James Crimmins, Melva Crimmins
Grant Quinn McKee (decedent) Marcia McKee (mother of decedent)