Prosecutors to change policies after Oso slide settlement

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A search and rescue worker looks for survivors in the aftermath of a mudslide on March 25, 2014 in Oso, Washington. A massive mudslide on March 22. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

EVERETT, Wash. — Washington state officials are offering new guidance to private attorneys and outside experts as a result of misconduct in Oso mudslide litigation that led to one of the state’s largest wrongful death settlements ever.

The Daily Herald reports that officials with the Attorney General’s Office told the Senate Law and Justice Committee that the agency is making expectations about preserving documents explicitly clear for outside attorneys.

The agency is also increasing internal training on managing complex cases, like the legal challenges arising from the 2014 mudslide that killed 43 people.

The state reached a $50 million settlement with plaintiffs affected by the slide in October, weeks after it was discovered that scientists and engineers who acted as expert opinions in the case were deleting emails.