A jury in Portland, Ore., awarded $85 million on Tuesday to nine people who had losses from wildfires that devastated communities and burned millions of acres in September 2020. The verdict is the latest development against the electric utility company PacifiCorp over its responsibility for the fires.

Last June, a jury found PacifiCorp liable for damages for not cutting power to its 600,000 customers despite warnings from the then governor’s chief of staff and top fire officials, according to The Associated Press. The jury awarded about $90 million to 17 plaintiffs in the case, and found PacifiCorp also liable to a broader class of thousands of homeowners affected by the fires.

The verdict on Tuesday, which came after a six-day trial this month, was the first case focused “exclusively on individuals’ damages” after the class action verdict last year, according to lawyers for the nine plaintiffs. Additional trials were expected in February and April.

The utility company could face billions of dollars in liability to the homeowners.

PacifiCorp, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said in a statement that it expects post-verdict rulings and insurance payments to bring its share of the verdict to just under $79 million, and that it plans to appeal the case.

“The growing threat of wildfires to communities and businesses is bigger than any one company or industry,” PacifiCorp said in a statement.

Tuesday’s verdict included more than $6 million in economic and $56 million in noneconomic damages, plus additional punitive damages, Nick Rosinia, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, said in a statement.

The wildfires in September 2020 killed at least nine people and burned more than five million acres in three states. Exceptionally dry conditions, combined with unusually strong and hot east winds, caused the wildfires to spiral out of control.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said that a Portland jury heard three days of testimony from the victims of the fires, which began on Sept. 7, 2020. One man described how he and his wife jumped into a river near their property while the flames enveloped their home. Another survivor, a 101-year-old World War II veteran, said he lost his home and decades of memories, according to Mr. Rosinia.

The next damages trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 and will seek compensation for another nine people affected by the fires as well as for Upward Bound Camp, a program for people with special needs that was also destroyed by the flames.

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