Bastrop News

Tuck and Kizer file suit against Asplundh

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Victims of the Bastrop Complex Fire who did not participate in the litigation settled last year have another last chance to recoup damages.

New suits were filed on Friday April 10 against Asplundh Expert Tree Company for damages incurred by the plaintiffs as a result of the 2011 Bastrop Complex Fire. Although the two year statute of limitations had long expired, the March 3, 2015 denial of certification by sitting District Court Judge Terry Flenniken of a class action suit filed by the firm of Galveston attorney Darrel Apffel extended the statute for any members of the class: persons whose land valuation diminished by 25 percent or more according to the CAD valuation, between 2011 and 2012. One of the two suits filed Friday was by the Apffel group.

The other suit filed by Robert Kizer, partner in the Bastrop law firm of Tuck & Kizer Law Group, was on behalf of Bastrop District Attorney Bryan Goertz and his wife, attorney Deborah Goertz and numerous other plaintiffs including local minister and former Republican County chairman, Bob Long.

The latter suit alleges negligence and gross negligence against the Pennsylvania-based but multi-national Asplundh for contractual and common law breaches of duties in connection with vegetation management for local utility, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op, who is not named as a defendant in either suit.

Tuck & Kizer filed suit in 2011 on behalf of the largest number of individual plaintiffs in a similar suit, settled in 2014. In Jan. 2015, the firm’s partner Joe Grady Tuck participated as local counsel in the selection of a jury chosen in another suit involving the assertion of subrogation interests of insurers who paid homeowner’s claims to thousands of fire victims. This suit settled on the third day of trial. All previously settled suits are the subject of confidentiality agreements.

Joe Grady Tuck, stated: “Providence has accorded the victims of the worst fire in Texas history another last chance to sign up, but the window of opportunity may be very limited.”


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