Singleton Schreiber Advocates for Changes to FEMA Regulations Requested on Behalf of Their Clients

San Diego, CA – December 29, 2022 – Leading fire litigation firm Singleton Schreiber advocates for changes to FEMA regulations on behalf of their clients.

An attorney-comment letter was prepared and circulated to other attorneys who are representing claimants in the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire litigation. 

The initial regulations published by FEMA on November 14, 2022 had significant problems and led attorneys representing over 1,000 victims of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fires to suggest changes to be made.

The following changes were suggested by the signing attorneys:

  • FEMA should appoint an independent claims manager under Section 104(a)(3) of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act who is a New Mexico lawyer and/or retired judge.
  • Hire BrownGreer as a contractor to help process claims.
  • Noneconomic damages are recoverable under New Mexico law and, therefore, should be recoverable under the Act.
  • FEMA should not impose an arbitrary 25% limit on tree or mitigation damages as it violates New Mexico law.
  • Assignment of rights cannot be prohibited.
  • Represented Clients, Legal Fees, Expert Costs
  • Regulations should reflect New Mexico law (as the Act requires), rather than copying the 2ooo Cerro Grande Fire regulations.

The letter (signed by 20 attorneys), along with the memorandum on non-economic damages prepared by retired Chief Justice Payne, was sent to FEMA as part of FEMA’s public comment process. The attorney-comment letter can be accessed below, as can Chief Justice Payne’s memorandum.

Public Comments submitted by Singleton Schreiber to FEMA

H.Vern Payne’s Memo