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Jury Awards $8 Million Over Quake Damage

March 31, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A jury awarded nearly $8 million Thursday to a group of Santa Clarita homeowners and an insurance company that sued a developer alleging that shoddy construction had made a local development susceptible to the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

In a 12-0 verdict, the Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found that defects in condominiums built by Newhall Land and Farming Co. had been exacerbated by the quake. The jury awarded more than $960,000 to the Franciscan Hill Homeowners Assn. and $6.7 million to State Farm Insurance.

The award amounts were nearly half of the amount the plaintiffs originally sought.

"I had hoped for more," said Myrna Saltzberg, treasurer of the association, whose home had to be rebuilt from the foundation. "But I'm glad we came out with something."

A Newhall Land and Farming spokeswoman said the company would appeal the decision.

Jurors deliberated four weeks.

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