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Caltrans Payment to Malibu Slide Victims Approved

September 03, 1987

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has approved a Caltrans agreement providing up to $75 million to 236 Malibu property owners whose homes were damaged in the massive Big Rock Mesa landslide in 1983.

Judge H. Walter Croskey's ruling on Tuesday cleared the way for the Department of Transportation to seek funding from the Legislature for the settlement reached on July 31, according to Caltrans attorney Anthony J. Ruffolo.

In the settlement, Caltrans agreed to pay $25 million to owners of the damaged properties, plus an additional $50 million if homeowners are unable to collect damages from other defendants, including Los Angeles County, Ruffolo said.

No agreement has yet been reached between homeowners and the county, he said.

At Tuesday's hearing, Croskey found that the state's settlement was made in good faith and that the agreement would not jeopardize homeowners' claims against other defendants, Ruffolo said.

The total liability in numerous lawsuits against the state, county and various insurance agencies has been estimated at $200 million to $500 million.

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