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Court rules county can't be sued for deadly Oso landslide

The natural disaster killed 43 people in Washington state in 2014.

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 2:18 PM
Updated: Jan 1, 2019 7:49 PM

OSO, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling that shields Snohomish County from lawsuits seeking damages related to the 2014 landslide in Oso.

The Daily Herald reports the same case two years ago resulted in a $60 million settlement for slide survivors and representatives for some of the 43 people killed in the disaster.

The state and a private timber company paid the settlement after plaintiffs' attorneys discovered that some attorneys from the other side had systematically destroyed documents that should have been shared before trial.

The judge, by that time, had already excluded the county from the case. The plaintiffs appealed.

The three-judge panel wrote that it is beyond question that appellants suffered terrible losses, but their theories and evidence do not establish a basis for holding the county liable for those losses.

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