Washington

Washington judge dismisses Oso mudslide claims

Brian Anderson, left, and Coby Young search through the wreckage of a home belonging to the Kuntz family on March 23, 2014, near Oso, Wash. The entire Kuntz family was at a baseball game March 22 when a fatal mudslide swept through the area. The family returned the next day to search through what remained.
Brian Anderson, left, and Coby Young search through the wreckage of a home belonging to the Kuntz family on March 23, 2014, near Oso, Wash. The entire Kuntz family was at a baseball game March 22 when a fatal mudslide swept through the area. The family returned the next day to search through what remained. The Herald

A Washington judge has dismissed claims brought by dozens of people who lost family and homes in the deadliest mudslide in U.S. history.

The dismissal will affect about a dozen survivors of the 2014 Oso mudslide and legal claims linked to 28 people who died in the disaster, The Herald reported. The claims dismissed last week argued that Snohomish County government officials bore some responsibility for the losses.

King County Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff’s ruling followed a series of pre-trial hearings focused on Snohomish County’s potential legal culpability. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs said the county’s warnings about landslide risks were misleading.

But Rogoff sided with county attorneys, saying the law requires him to only consider people who attended or relied on information from a March 2006 meeting when evaluating the county’s warnings. He said there is no evidence showing that those affected attended that meeting.

A civil trial scheduled for this fall will decide whether anyone should be held responsible for the slide.

A total of 43 people were killed in the mudslide about 60 miles northeast of Seattle.

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