Resources Supporting Recovery for
In the aftermath of the deadly fires on Maui, there are many organizations fighting night and day to help those most directly affected. From housing assistance, food and supplies, to rescuing displaced pets, to offering grief counseling, heroic volunteers and charitable organizations are stepping up to support our extended ohana. Some of these organizations are listed below.
Providing Shelter Services
Providing Emergency Relief Including Food and Basic Supplies to Displaced Families
Maui Family Support Services provides a wide range of assistance to families in need
Maui Economic Opportunity — Providing Transitional Housing Assistance
Legal Avenues to Assist Your Recovery
On August 8, 2023, devastating wildfires swept across West Maui killing dozens, burning hundreds of homes, and rendering countless families newly homeless. The financial losses are in the billions, but the human cost of this tragedy is untold and its impact on the spirit of Hawai’i will be deeply felt for decades. The historic town of Lahaina, former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, has essentially been wiped off the map.
Stuemke Law Firm: Legal Help for Maui Wildfire Survivors
Unlike most of the law firms seeking to represent those impacted by the Maui wildfires, the attorneys at the Stuemke Law Firm live and work in Hawai’i on Oahu. We are members of this community, and we care about this community. We have successfully fought some of the world’s largest corporations to achieve justice for our clients, and we are committed to assisting survivors of the Maui wildfires who have sustained injuries, property damage, or economic losses due to this catastrophic event.
To best assist our clients impacted by the wildfires, we have partnered with one of the premier California wildfire litigation firms, Bridgford Gleason Artinian (“BGA”). BGA has represented thousands of victims of wildfires and has the experience needed to not only prove the legal responsibility of various entities responsible for the fires, but also to maximize the recovery of all of our clients.
How We Can Help
The Stuemke Law Firm has a strong track record of representing victims of negligence who have suffered devastating injuries. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and achieved nationally-recognized jury verdicts for our clients. We are committed to helping our neighbors on Maui navigate the legal challenges associated with recovering from this disaster.
If you have been impacted by the Maui wildfires, you may be eligible for financial compensation. The wildfire attorneys at the Stuemke Law Firm will work tirelessly to:
- Investigate the Cause: Investigations into the cause and origin of the Maui wildfires are underway. Many residents have reported that the apparent cause of the fire was improperly maintained dry brush around power lines, but determinations of the specific cause and origin of the blaze will take time.
- Ascertain Damages: The damages from a wildfire can be wide-ranging, from personal injuries and death, to economic losses such as medical expenses and property damage, to the emotional trauma caused by the losing a family home — sometimes a generational family home. Your experience, and your losses, are unique to you, and our attorneys will work with you to evaluate and understand the full nature of your damages.
- Pursue Accountability: Many factors contributed to the Maui wildfire, and if investigations determine that a company’s negligence or inadequate safety measures contributed to the blaze we will aggressively seek to hold them legally responsible.
- Maximize your Recovery: The Stuemke Law Firm is built around the core concept that our client’s recovery can only be maximized by being willing — and able — to pursue a client’s case all the way to trial. We believe in Hawai’i juries.
Can I File a Lawsuit?
Survivors of the devastation caused by disasters like the Maui wildfire may be entitled to significant compensation for their losses. Depending on the underlying factual circumstances, valid legal claims may be asserted against insurers and electric utilities if they played a role in causing the fire. In a lawsuit like this, you may be able to recover financially for losses including personal injuries or wrongful death; damage to your home, business, rental property, vehicles, or personal belongings; and other economic losses.
The Stuemke Law Firm filed our first lawsuit on behalf of fire victims on August 29, 2023. You can read the full complaint here. We are continuing to investigate the liability of the electric utilities, landowners, and other potentially responsible parties, and are working with other leading law firms to shape the litigation against these defendants in a way that maximizes the recovery of our clients.
The Emerging Legal Case Against Hawaiian Electric Company
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Knew the Risks
“The risk of a utility system causing a wildfire ignition is significant.” — Statement by HECO in a 2022 Regulatory Filing
HECO Was Warned
On August 6, days before the fire started, the National Weather Service warned that “Combined w/ dry conditions, these winds pose a serious fire & damaging wind threat. Stay alert!”
On August 7, the National Weather Service again warned that damaging winds could blow down power lines and that any fires that developed could spread rapidly.
HECO Knew of Preventive Steps, but Failed to Implement Them
HECO has long known that its electric distribution infrastructure was aging and vulnerable to the risks of heavy winds, but failed to take the necessary steps to improve the safety of the system.
HECO has acknowledged that a power safety shut-off plan could be effective in preventing a wildfire when additional robust techniques are not yet in place, but failed to adopt this procedure as part of its fire mitigation plans.
In the days leading up to the fire, dozens of wooden utility poles were damaged – and even snapped in two.
Despite the the warnings from the National Weather Service, despite dozens of downed power lines, Hawaiian Electric kept its electric lines on Western Maui fully energized.
Pattern of Fires Strongly Suggests Electrical Origin
According to a August 12, 2023 article in the Washington Post, Michael Wara — a wildfire expert and the director of the Stanford University Climate and Energy Policy Program — and other experts point out that before the Maui wildfires, there were no lightning strikes, a frequent cause of random fires in other parts of the United States. Instead, the pattern of Hawaii’s fires suggests that a spate of small ignitions combined to form a bigger blaze, Wara said, and “the only real source of that is powerlines.”
Contact Us for a Free ConsultationWe would be honored to review and consider your case. Call us at 808-460-3161 or 866-244-0529, or submit your case online for prompt evaluation.
(Office Visits by Appointment Only)
Stuemke Law Firm PLLC
142 Kuailima Drive, Suite A
Kailua, HI 96734