Senate Law and Justice Committee to hold work session on Oso mudslide

OLYMPIA — The Senate Law and Justice Committee will hold a work session Tuesday, March 28, on litigation concerning the 2014 Oso mudslide disaster.

The state attorney general’s office is scheduled to make a presentation during the 10 a.m. Law and Justice meeting regarding lawsuits and settlements in the case. The committee meets in Senate Hearing Room 4, John A. Cherberg Building, Capitol Campus, Olympia.

Forty-three people died when a hillside along the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River collapsed and buried a nearby rural neighborhood. In October, attorneys representing 27 victims and survivors announced they had reached a $50 million settlement with the state, with the state picking up a $10 million share and insurers the rest.

Plaintiffs maintained the state bore a share of responsibility because, they alleged, a crib wall fence on state property contributed to the destructive force of the slide. Plaintiffs reached another $10 million settlement with a timber company that had been logging in the area.

Also to be discussed during the work session are court sanctions regarding the state’s failure to disclose that expert witnesses for the state had deleted emails between one another.