Justia Agriculture Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Utilities Law
This case involves a dispute between Simple Avo Paradise Ranch, LLC (Simple Avo), an avocado farm, and Southern California Edison Company (SCE), a utility company. Simple Avo claimed that SCE was responsible for damages caused by the 2017 Thomas Fire in Southern California due to SCE's alleged negligence in maintaining its electrical infrastructure. The case was part of a larger coordinated proceeding involving hundreds of similar lawsuits against SCE.Before Simple Avo filed its lawsuit, the trial court had overruled SCE's demurrer to the cause of action for inverse condemnation in the master complaints filed by each of the plaintiff groups. Simple Avo did not participate in the briefing or argument on SCE’s demurrer before the trial court. Instead, Simple Avo and SCE settled for an undisclosed amount and entered into a stipulated judgment whereby SCE would pay $1.75 million to Simple Avo on the inverse condemnation claim, subject to SCE’s appeal of the demurrer ruling.The Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, affirmed the lower court's decision. The court held that the stipulated judgment was appealable and justiciable, and that the trial court correctly overruled the demurrer. The court found that SCE could be liable for inverse condemnation as a public entity, and that the master complaint sufficiently alleged a cause of action for inverse condemnation. View "Simple Avo Paradise Ranch, LLC v. Southern Cal. Edison Co." on Justia Law