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Family Of Montecito Mudslide Victim Files First Wrongful Death Lawsuit

SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) -- Attorneys representing the family of one of the victims of the Montecito mudslides announced Thursday the filing of the first wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the deadly mudslides.

The legal team representing the family of 73-year-old Peter Fleurat announced that they filed suit against Southern California Edison for Fleurat's wrongful death.

The lawsuit claims that the Thomas Fire, which tore through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in December and leading to the largest wildfire in California's history, was started by faulty electrical equipment.

The legal team goes on to claim that the wildfire then created burn areas that made the region prone to debris flow, ultimately leading to the deadly mudslides in January.

"The origin and cause of the fire continue to be under investigation and no report has yet been issued," reads a statement by SoCal Edison in part. "This and other lawsuits are not based on findings related to an investigation. Therefore, it would be premature for SCE to comment on the origin or cause of the wildfire."

The legal team handling the Fleurat wrongful death case is also filing separate lawsuits for victims Michael Armand Hammer and Pierre LaFond, the owner of multiple Montecito restaurants and shops.

In addition to the wrongful death lawsuits, a number of lawsuits are suing for property damage.

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