Who is responsible? Families of Oso slide victims file claims against Snohomish County, state

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Fourteen Killed, Many Missing After Major Washington State Mudslide

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON — The family of four victims in the Oso mudslide filed claims against Snohomish County and Washington state for alleged personal and property damages they faced as a result of the catastrophic mudslide.

The group of four adds on to the more than a dozen potential lawsuits already filed against the county and the state in the disaster that killed 43 people on March 22.

Attorneys representing Randi Lester, the mother of Denver Harris, along with Robin Youngblood, Stephanie Murphy and Kane Corner filed tort claim forms Tuesday.

The attorneys allege the county and state knowingly allowed the homes to be built an  exist in a slide prone area, without a “single word” to the homeowners.

“The danger was known by people who had the authority and ability to do something about it,” Attorney Darrell Cochran said in a release, mentioning the history of major slides in the area.

Cochran contends the situation was made even worse by logging in the area.

Tort claims are necessary precursors to lawsuits, Chochran said. The more than than a dozen claims filed against the county and the state represent a bevy of allegations by victims’ families, including wrongful death, property loss and injury.

State Route 530 near Oso reopened to traffic last weekend, following a three-month long closure after the slide.

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