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West Valley Focus

AGOURA HILLS : 4 Families Sue for Mudslide Damages

September 25, 1993|KURT PITZER

Four families whose homes were damaged during a massive mudslide last winter sued the city of Agoura Hills for $1.65 million on Friday, contending the slope failure was the result of a poorly built city street.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that damage to the four homes on two parallel cul-de-sacs south of Agoura Road was caused by the failure of the slope supporting the upper street, Calle Montecillo, in mid-February.

"The city became legally responsible for damages proximately caused by the landslide movement, including the damages suffered by the homeowners, along with ownership of Calle Montecillo," the lawsuit states.

City Atty. Greg Stepanicich disagreed.

"The cause of the slope failure had nothing to do with the placement of the roadway," he said. "Basically, it has to do with the way the subdivision was constructed."

The city on Sept. 8 denied $2 million in damage claims from the four families. The amount claimed in the lawsuit represents nearly one-third of the Agoura Hills general fund budget.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs Louis and Karyn Alfonso and their son, Austin, claim $600,000 in damage to their home; Einar and Anne Lanaro claim $325,000; William and Irene Ferber claim $365,000, and Adeela, Shahid and Zehra Ahsan and Anwar Akhtar claim $360,000.

The city has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.

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