Colorado Law Firms Join Forces to Seek Justice for Victims of the Durango 416 Fire

Colorado Law Firms Join Forces to Seek Justice for Victims of the Durango 416 Fire

By Burg Simpson
September 10, 2018
5 min read

September 10, 2018 (Durango, CO)—The long-time Durango law firm of DUTHIE SAVASTANO BRUNGARD has teamed up with the nationally recognized Colorado-based trial firm of BURG SIMPSON ELDREDGE HERSH & JARDINE to bring justice to the victims of the Durango 416 Fire and to hold the owners, operators and management of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Company responsible for the damages and losses resulting from the devastating fire.

Representing more than a half dozen citizens and businesses in the Durango-Silverton area, these firms on Friday filed a lawsuit in the La Plata County District Court naming American Heritage Railways, Inc., The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Company, and its primary officer, Al Harper, as the parties responsible for starting the 416 Fire.

The fire, which started on June 1, 2018, grew to be Colorado’s sixth-largest in history, burning over 50,000 acres of land. As a result of the fire, Durango residents have suffered severe property damage and many were forced to evacuate their homes, property values have been significantly and negatively impacted, and many local Durango and Silverton businesses were forced to either close or they suffered huge losses in business and profits. Following the fire, devastating flooding and mudslides further impacted the Durango community.

“This case is about holding the parties that started the fire responsible for their careless actions,” said two-generation Durango attorney Bobby Duthie.  “Given my history here in Durango and my love for the railroad, the decision to initiate legal action was thoughtfully evaluated.  As I learned about the many fires the railroad started and its decision process to run a coal-fired steam locomotive during extreme drought conditions, I was moved to act, so my fellow La Plata County and San Juan County citizens and businesses could recover their losses from the responsible parties.”

The lawyers at these two Colorado-based firms, DUTHIE SAVASTANO BRUNGARD and BURG SIMPSON ELDREDGE HERSH & JARDINE, believe it vitally important that the citizens of the Durango-Silverton area who suffered damages or losses from the 416 Fire have the chance to learn about how and why the fire started, and to educate themselves about their legal rights.  To help with that education, lawyers from the firms will be hosting community education session in both towns in September.  More info about the education sessions, where community members are encouraged to ask questions, is available here.

Duthie added, “I am partnering with the prominent Colorado firm of Burg Simpson to ensure that our clients and the communities of Durango and Silverton will have the best possible representation in this complex matter. We know the train is beloved in the Durango-Silverton area.  It is not our intent to put them out of business.  However, we believe the management of the train should be held accountable for the damages they caused, which could have easily been avoided had they acted sensibly.”

DUTHIE SAVASTANO BRUNGARD and BURG SIMPSON ELDREDGE HERSH & JARDINE combine decades of experience litigating complex cases in Colorado courts, are intricately aware of the nuances of Colorado law.

For more information about the firms, please visit Duthie Savastano Brungard’s website and Burg Simpson’s website. For more information about the case or the community education sessions, please visit here.

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About Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine
One of America’s foremost plaintiff trial firms, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine has a reputation for fighting relentlessly and successfully for victims of negligence, malfeasance, malpractice, and abuse. Burg Simpson has secured more than $1 billion in verdicts, settlements, and judgments in practice areas spanning dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and devices, medical malpractice, personal injury, commercial litigation and whistleblowers, construction defects, workers’ compensation, and product liability, including more than 100 recoveries in excess of $1 million. The firm has been named one of America’s 25 Most Influential Law Firms of 2016 by The Trial Lawyer magazine.

The firm was founded in 1976 by distinguished American trial lawyer Michael Burg, an inductee in the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, who has been named to the 2016 RoundTable: America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by The Trial Lawyer magazine; Barrister’s Best 2016 “Best Civil Litigator”; one of “America’s 50 Leading Trial Lawyers” by The U.S. Legal 500; and recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. In 1999, Burg merged his firm with former Wyoming Republican Senator Alan K. Simpson’s firm. Senator Simpson is a former Republican whip and Smithsonian Institute Regent who was appointed co-chair of the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform by former President Barack Obama. Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine has offices in seven U.S. cities, with more than 60 top-tier attorneys dedicated to fighting for legal outcomes that change people’s lives.

About Duthie Savastano Brungard

Duthie Savastano Brungard, PLLC, of Durango, Colorado carries on a tradition established more than a century ago of helping clients in the communities of Durango and Colorado tackle difficult legal problems.  The firm has been a long-standing pillar of the legal community in Durango, and its attorneys are committed to honoring that tradition of excellence and service to its community members.

As a small firm, the attorneys take pride in getting to know their clients. The firm’s attention to detail and maneuverability in different arenas of law allow the attorneys to effectively and successfully service its clients’ issues, no matter how big or small.

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Heidi Culbertson
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(303) 792-5595
Erin Haworth
High10 Media on behalf of Burg Simpson
(212) 918-2044

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