Six Months After Oso Landslide, Lawsuit, Legal Claims Ongoing
Six months ago Monday, forty-three people lost their lives in the Oso landslide. So far, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington stemming from the slide.
Attorney Karen Willie says a half-year later a “deep wound” remains from Oso. I spoke with her at 10:37a.m., the exact-six month anniversary.
“This moment is when this horror of mud raced across Steelhead Drive,” Willie said.
The wall of mud and debris ripped through an idyllic riverfront subdivision, destroying everything in its path. It would take four months to recover the last of the 43 victims.
Willie represents three families who lost loved ones in the slide and three more who lost their property. She believes public agencies need to be held to account.
“This should never have happened, and it should never, ever happen again,” Willie said.
The state and Snohomish County argue in legal filings that the slide was an act of God. So far, only one actual lawsuit has been filed. Willie raises the specter of a master settlement involving all of the families and a mediator.