Press Release

Litigation Filed Against Xcel, Southwestern, and Osmose Energy Companies in Wake of Smokehouse Creek Fire

Over 20 plaintiffs take legal action against companies at fault for devastating Texas fire

HEMPHILL COUNTY, TX – One of the nation’s leading fire litigation firms, Singleton Schreiber, LLP, has filed a lawsuit against Xcel Energy Services, Inc., Southwestern Public Service Company, and Osmose Utilities Services, Inc., on behalf of more than 20 residents of Hemphill County, Texas, who lost their homes, personal property, and suffered severe smoke inhalation in this year’s deadly Smokehouse Creek Fire.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire burned over 1.2 million acres, destroying over 500 structures and killing two local residents. The fire was triggered when a poorly maintained utility pole snapped in the high winds, causing electrified utility lines to ignite the surrounding brush and spread quickly in the dry conditions. Despite knowing that the dry and windy conditions in the Texas panhandle posed a significant threat, Xcel and the other defendants failed to properly design, inspect and maintain their system. As a result, an unsafe pole that should have been replaced broke in the wind, causing the deadly fire.

“It is evident that Xcel and the electric companies providing services around this region in Texas failed in their duty to safely operate and maintain their infrastructure, especially their power poles. Our clients endured severe damages from this fire that should have and could have been avoided," said Gerald Singleton, Managing Partner of Singleton Schreiber and a licensed Texas attorney. “Our firm now represents clients against Xcel in both Texas and Colorado, where the company was responsible for the catastrophic Marshall Fire in December 2021. This is a pattern for Xcel, and it is imperative that they address the ongoing issue of poor utility maintenance that continues to result in these deadly fires.”

The lawsuit seeks economic and non-economic damages for the extensive destruction caused by the fire. It also demands that Xcel, Southwestern, and Osmose comply with their duty to provide safe power to this Northern Texas region and implement a more effective maintenance, inspection and repair program.

Singleton Schreiber is a client-centered law firm specializing in fire litigation, mass torts, personal injury/wrongful death, environmental damages and civil rights. The firm has the largest fire litigation practice in the country, having represented over 20,000 victims of wildfires in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

Lead counsel Gerald Singleton has led the litigation on numerous fires in multiple states and is a nationally recognized expert on wildfires cases. He is the founder and chair of the American Association of Justice’s Wildfire Litigation Group and has lectured on fire cases in numerous states around the nation.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign Up

Related Attorneys

Related Practice Areas

Jump to Page

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.