Newport Beach : Oil Fire Leaves Fallout of Nine Damage Claims

Although the fire is long-since extinguished and the abandoned well that made a mess of the Balboa Peninsula has been properly capped, fallout from the Aug. 2 fire continues to rain on City Hall.

Nine claims arising from the explosion and fire that left much of 44th Street awash in an oily goo have been filed against the city by area residents who want the city to pay for damages to cars, boats and houses.

According to City Manager Robert Wynn, the nine claims total approximately $390,000--with the bulk of that amount taken up by a single claim filed by the owners of a house on 44th Street that was singed by flames.

"We'll handle these just like any other claims," Wynn said, adding that they will be turned over to a city adjuster after what will likely be a routine denial by the City Council Monday night.

Wynn declined to comment on what will happen to the nine damage claims once the reach the adjuster, but in normal practice claims can be either paid outright, reduced through negotiations or refused altogether, an action that frequently leads to lawsuits.

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