Wenholz | Dow Settles Multi-Million Dollar Wildfire Case
Bastrop County, Bastrop County ISD, Smithville ISD and Emergency Services District #2 announce a recent $5,000,000.00 settlement with Asplundh Tree Expert, LLC of their lawsuit growing out of the 2011 Bastrop Complex Fire that ravaged Bastrop County, Texas 30 miles east of Austin. The settlement results from claims brought against from the largest privately held tree trimming company in the world, Asplundh Tree Expert, LLC.
“This marks the end of a terribly painful chapter in this community’s history and allows the School Districts and County to finish the arduous task of rebuilding” commented lead trial counsel Dave Wenholz. The suit was filed two years ago by a legal team comprised of Austin attorney Dave Wenholz of Wenholz Dow, P.C., Bastrop attorney Joe Grady Tuck, and Galveston attorney Benjy Shabot, on behalf of Bastrop County, Bastrop ISD, Smithville ISD, & Emergency Services District No. 2. The government entities filed suit for the loss of tax revenue occasioned by the diminution of property values due to the fire. This was the second fire suit in which Wenholz’s clients have settled with Asplundh Tree Expert Company. "I am proud to have played a small part in a much larger effort on the part of the Plaintiffs’ law firms, school districts, emergency services district and Bastrop County officials to bring Asplundh to justice for the role they played in causing the largest and most destructive wildfire in the history of our state", reported Wenholz, who focused on Bastrop Independent School District’s claims. Wenholz added, "Under the leadership of Superintendent Barry Edwards and CFO Sandra Callahan, we were able to present a persuasive argument to help reimburse the school district for the losses in attendance, tax revenue and other expenses they incurred following the largest disaster Bastrop has ever suffered.” Wenholz also cited the invaluable assistance of Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape, as well as Smithville ISD Supt. Cheryl Burns, and ESD No. 2 Chief Josh Gill in their recovery of damages suffered by those authorities.