Federal attorneys ask judge to dismiss Sevier County wildfire lawsuit


Government attorneys are again asking a judge to toss out one of the lawsuits stemming from the 2016 Sevier County wildfires.

The case was filed on behalf of five people affected by the fire. One of them, Michael Reed, lost his wife and daughters to the tragic fires. The plaintiffs argue the national park service didn’t do enough to warn surrounding communities about the danger posed by the spread of the fire.

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Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips in December rejected a request to dismiss the case when the government argued that park service actions are protected as day-to-day judgment calls of federal workers.

The judge found that issuing warnings was mandatory under park service policy. In a renewed motion filed last week, federal attorneys again make the exemption argument but also claim that the park service did follow its policies by issuing information about the fire as it developed.

We’ll keep you posted for a decision in the case.

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