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Ex-Dodger Pitcher Files Claim Against La Canada

April 23, 1987|DENISE HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

Former Dodger pitcher Jerry Reuss has filed a $1.3-million claim against the City of La Canada Flintridge and Los Angeles County for allegedly allowing his home to be built on an uncompacted trash dump, which he said is settling and damaging the structure.

Reuss, 37, said in a claim filed by his attorney that he purchased the house in the 1900 block of Lamp Post Lane in December, 1985. Early this year, he said, he noticed that the cement foundation, pool deck and guest house had developed cracks and that the house had plumbing and electrical problems.

Reuss said a structural engineer and a contractor he hired told him the cracks and soil erosion around his Mediterranean-style house were caused by settling of the landfill. He maintains that La Canada Flintridge failed to inspect the property adequately and that the city should have ordered the dump site compacted to stabilize the land.

Reuss' attorney, John W. Nelson, said that unless an agreement is reached, he plans to file suit against the city, the home's builder and the real estate agency that handled the sale.

The La Canada City Council voted earlier this month to deny the claim and Deputy City Atty. Stephanie R. Scher said it has been referred to the city's insurance carrier. Scher said she will also refer the claim to Los Angeles County, which contracts with the city to provide building inspection services.

Scher said city officials do not know if Reuss' property was formerly a landfill or when his house was built, but they are checking records.

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