City to pay La Jolla homeowners $284,000 for landslide damages

The San Diego City Council agreed to pay nearly $284,000 to La Jolla homeowners whose properties were damaged by a landslide in 2007 in exchange for them letting stand a ruling in the city’s favor, it was reported Wednesday.

The settlement is far less than the $100 million or so in damages for which the city could have been found liable if homeowners prevailed in an appeals court, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

In October, a judge sided with the city after a five-week trial, opening the door for homeowners to appeal.

Dozens of homes were evacuated or damaged on Oct. 3, 2007 in the landslide, but no one was hurt. Three of the affected homes were subsequently demolished.

In all, 65 homeowners sued the city, most claiming diminished property values as a result of the slide. Attorneys for the homeowners argued in court that the slide was caused by water line leaks.

San Diego spent $6 million on private lawyers, who blamed the slide on unstable soil on Mount Soledad, an 831-foot hill overlooking La Jolla.