Is the Government Responsible for a Wildfire that Damaged Your Property?

 Can the Federal Government be financially responsible for a fire that damaged your property?

 Yes. If the Federal Government burns your property, it may constitute a federal taking under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  For example, if employees of the federal government backfire burn your property to prevent a wildfire from spreading, the Federal Government is likely taking your property. While there may have been good cause for the backfire burn of your property, and it may even have saved lives, the Fifth Amendment requires that the Federal Government compensate you if it takes your property for the common good.

 Inverse condemnation by federal firefighters.

Inverse condemnation is what happens if the federal government takes your property for a public use. If the federal government damages your property by fire and does not pay for the damage from the fire, property owners may have to sue the government for compensation.

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Federal takings and inverse condemnation under the Fifth Amendment is a very complicated area of the law.

Not all damage from fire involving federal firefighters constitutes inverse condemnation or a federal taking. This is a very complicated area of law involving the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The specific facts surrounding each fire and the actions of the federal employees will be crucial to determining if inverse condemnation or a federal taking occurred.

Takings lawsuits filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

The US Court of Federal Claims has ​nationwide jurisdiction over takings claims against the Federal Government. Unlike local federal district courts, the Court of Federal Claims only decides cases against the federal government and does not decide criminal cases, lawsuits between private companies and individuals, or lawsuits against state or local governments. This allows the United States Court of Federal Claims to focus on and have expertise in federal takings cases unmatched by any other court.​

For more than two decades, mctlaw has been extremely active in the United States Court of Federal Claims, continuously representing clients before the Court, working on advisory panels of the Court, and serving in leadership of the Court’s Bar Association.

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My experience with mctlaw for my hip claim was remarkable, I found the communication to be outstanding. I also felt they did an excellent job setting expectations and then delivering on those stated expectations. From net amount, timing of the settlement, how much each related party would receive etc. they were outstanding. I would highly recommend them. They are very professional and set the bar in vaccine injury practice.

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We cannot thank you enough for the services your firm has provided for Marie and I in our time of need. I could not have chosen a finer firm near or far to represent us.

John and Marie (Last Name Withheld for Privacy)

My first response is “Wow!” It has only been 11 months since I first heard of “SIRVA” and an HHS program that awarded compensation to its victims and only 7 months since MC&T accepted my case. I feel that your efforts on my part made all the difference.

A. Stoneburner

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Alison is a phenomenal attorney… When she put together the demand letter she was able to explain what I had been through and how I had felt… I want to thank your firm but personally thank all that had a hand in resolving my case.

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The past 10 months have been a whirlwind to say the least but we are truly thankful, grateful and appreciative of …all you have done for our family. This is truly life changing for us. The weight that this lifts off of our shoulders and the peace of mind it will give us….its priceless. So again, thank you.

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M.R.

I just wanted to thank you for your help over the past 3 years…Thank you for negotiating with the DOJ in order to get as much as we could under the circumstance…It has been a pleasure having you and your wonderful staff here to assist me in this long and tedious effort.

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Thank you for all of your efforts all along to help resolve lifelong issues I will always have due to this defective implant. You have held my hand through a lot and each and everyone of you at MCT are appreciated for all of your efforts.

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Mr. Maglio, I want you to know the appreciation I have for Diana Stadelnikas and her team for the effort they have put into my wife’s claim! The settlement negotiation they achieved (in a very frustrating situation) is outstanding! While there’s a way to go yet, I want to assure you will they have my full confidence and gratitude to the finish! I know you must be proud of your people!

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I thank you so much for your diligent and hard work on my behalf. You are a thoroughly professional and pleasant person and I am grateful for having you on my case.

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