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Judge Approves Flying Triangle Slide Settlement

December 21, 1986

ROLLING HILLS — A $1.5-million settlement between the city and owners of property damaged or threatened by the Flying Triangle landslide was formally approved last week by Torrance Superior Court Judge George R. Perkovich.

Attorneys on both sides have said that a settlement is near between the more than 40 property owners and Los Angeles County.

In addition to the county, Rolling Hills Community Assn., California Water Service, and two engineering firms--Maurseth, Howe & Lockwood and Lockwood & Syngh--remain in the complex landslide suit, which is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 5 in Torrance before Judge Frank Baffa.

Owners of 21 parcels of property are seeking $31 million in damages on grounds that agencies and firms named in the suit permitted homes to be built or allowed water drainage into canyons that triggered the slide.

Rainfall Blamed

The defendants blame heavy rainfall that reactivated ancient landslides.

Attorneys for residents declined to comment on the settlement, but Harry L. Gershon, attorney for the city, said the $1.5 million is being divided among owners under a formula based on the amount of damage each has sustained. The settlement covers all plaintiffs in the lawsuit, as well as owners of eight additional properties who have sued the city separately, Gershon said.

Perkovich said any further landslide claims against the city in the Flying Triangle were waived as a condition of the settlement.

Frederic W. Hartwig, a resident sharing in the settlement, declined to say how much he will receive, but he said the amount "is small."

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