Should Oroville Dam Evacuees Get State Payment? Suit Seeks Class-Action Status

Could California give a cash payout to the 188,000 residents who frantically evacuated in February’s Oroville Dam crisis? That’s the end goal of a lawsuit filed Friday in Butte County Superior Court by evacuees Francis Bechtel, Jacob Klein, Chantel Ramirez and Denise Johnson. Their suit seeking class-action status alleges that the state Department of Water Resources negligently allowed maintenance woes at the nation’s tallest dam to fester, according to their Los Angeles attorney, Patrick McNicholas.