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Eastpoint fire claims certified as a class action lawsuit

Eastpoint fire claims certified as a class action lawsuit
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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EASTPOINT, Fla. (WCTV) - A judge signed an order Thursday, on the third anniversary of the devastating Eastpoint fire, certifying dozens of negligence claims as a class action lawsuit.

The Franklin County Clerk’s time stamp shows Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom signed the order just after 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Attorney Doug Lyons represents dozens of families who lost everything in the fire and says class action status should make a big difference.

“It makes it more manageable. We feel it should speed things up,” Lyons said.

Lawsuits filed in both Leon County and Franklin County claim Wildlands Services - a state contractor - was negligent in allowing a controlled burn to re-ignite and spark a fast-moving wildfire.

The fire destroyed three dozen homes in Eastpoint on June 24, 2018.

Jim Joyner’s was one of them.

“It was the most intense fire you ever seen in your life,” Joyner told WCTV Thursday. “Just imagine every house as far you can go along the road, everything beside you was on fire.”

An attorney for Wildlands told us Thursday that his firm as a “long standing policy of not commenting on pending lawsuits.”

The next hearing in the newly certified class action lawsuit is set for July 20.

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