ANAHEIM HILLS : Landslide Victims File Negligence Suits

Owners of two homes that were damaged or destroyed when hillsides gave way after January's heavy rains filed suit Tuesday against the City of Anaheim, Orange County and the Metropolitan Water District.

Douglas and Georgia Jacobs and Larry and Linda Mauzey contend that the agencies were negligent in allowing the homes to be built on what they said was an unstable area. The Jacobs asked for more than $3 million in damages; the Mauzeys $2 million.

A third Anaheim Hills property owner, Louis A. Delmonico, also sued the city, county and MWD for $3 million last week.

In prehistoric times, the suits charge, there was landslide movement in the Anaheim Hills area, where ground-water levels also were high.

Although these facts were noted in a 1956 geological report, prepared by the Southern California Metropolitan Water District in connection with water pipeline construction in the area, subsequent housing projects for the area were negligently approved by the agencies, the suit alleges.

In July, about 250 area residents filed claims against the MWD, charging that the pipeline leaked and caused or contributed to the landslide that damaged dozens of homes in the area.

MWD officials denied the allegation, saying that a recent inspection of the pipeline failed to detect any leaks that could have caused the 25-acre landslide.

Neither the families nor the agencies could be reached for comment.

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