Washington home collapses due to landslide, family sues the city

Washington family files a lawsuit for unspecified damage to their home during a January landslide

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A Bellevue family who lost their home when it was pushed off its foundation during a January landslide filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city for unspecified damages.

The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, claims the city was negligent when officials failed to warn the Surdi family about aging water pipes or mitigate the risk of the pipes failing, the Seattle Times reported.

John Surdi said he woke on Jan. 17 after a neighbor called and told him about water gushing down his driveway. Surdi said he drove to a nearby parking lot and moments later, his home of over 20 years slid off its foundation and partially collapsed with his wife and dog in it.

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The Surdi family has argued that the city was to blame because a section of the water main that ran behind their home broke, causing the landslide. The pipe was made of asbestos cement, which is "more likely to fail catastrophically than iron pipes," according to Bellevue’s planning documents.

The family filed a $5 million claim against the city March 9. Previously, the city said it was possible a natural landslide might have caused the pipe to break. The city has not responded to the claim, spokesperson Brad Harwood said Wednesday.

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