Attorneys for US calling to dismiss claims seeking damages from Chimney Tops 2 wildfire

Smoky Mountains

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Attorneys representing the U.S. filed a motion in U.S. district court in Greeneville to dismiss the case seeking damages resulting from Chimney Tops 2 wildfire in November 2016.

The Chimney Tops 2 Fire burned 11,410 acres in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in November 2016. The National Park Service said the fire merged with other fires to become the Sevier County wildfires, which caused 14 deaths and billions of dollars in damage in the Gatlinburg area.

There are now 11 cases in total: six cases filed by individuals and five cases filed by insurance companies that U.S. attorneys are trying to get dismissed. The only claims remaining in each case are the failure-to-warn claims.

The United States’s motion to dismiss it for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In their memorandum, the attorneys claim that the plaintiffs failed to present their failure-to-warn claims to the appropriate federal agency before filing suit in federal court, and because of this, the court should dismiss the claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

In February of 2020, a similar motion to dismiss was filed and the court denied the motion. In April 2020, a similar case was filed against the United States. The United States then filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court then dismissed all claims but the failure-to-warn claim.

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