Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

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Source: Montecito Water District

The catastrophic impact of the mudslides in Montecito has been tragic, to say the least. From the moment this devastation began, Montecito Water District’s focus has been supporting first responders and working as expeditiously as possible to restore water service to the Montecito community. The intensity of the storm event is beyond dispute, as evidenced by the massive boulders which were dislodged by the mudslides. We have all been impacted by this tragedy.

On Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 we learned that Montecito Water District was named as a Defendant in a lawsuit that has been filed as a result of the mudslides. The District believes that the filing of this action at this time is unfortunate, and any allegations of liability on the part of the District are irresponsible, highly speculative, and premature. The District is confident that forensic evidence and expert analysis will show that to be true. Nevertheless, now that litigation is pending, on the advice of District counsel, Montecito Water District will have no further comment at this time.

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a-1529282007 Jan 23, 2018 08:39 AM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

So is this law firm also going to countersued by the homeowners who will be without water when they bankrupt the MWD? Seems like they’re flushing good money down the layers/toilets that could have otherwise been used to re-build the system.

a-1529282007 Jan 22, 2018 04:35 PM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

Start your ambulances because the rat chasers are following and are nipping your heels. As constantly mentioned in the all-time classic, short story, The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence, "There MUST be more money!"

Luvaduck Jan 22, 2018 12:34 PM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

As if utilities didn't have enough expenses on their plate for this. This catastrophe could not be predicted and avoided. Anything awarded will come from you. So does the cost of defending themselves against frivolous lawsuits and greedy lawyers. I don't want my rates to go up so the rich can be richer.

CivilEngineer Jan 22, 2018 08:11 AM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

Let's be real here. 9 million gallons seems like a HUGE number but really it is just 1.4 cubic feet per second over a day. Or 334 cfs if is all came out in an hour. Does anyone here think the flows that caused damage were anywhere near that small? We are talking about 1000s of cfs here. Will be very hard to prove that this small amount of flow did anything but minor damage compared to the deluge the mother nature unleashed. Let's say that 0.5 inches of runoff occurred across Montecito in one hour- 5000 acres? That is about 2520 cfs coming off in one hour of just water. To say nothing of the bulking due to entrainment of the sediment. Case closed. Fire your lawyers.

FondofSB Jan 21, 2018 07:24 PM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

The alternate power generators were neither turned on nor self sufficient in preventing the reservoirs to unload themselves on top of the rainfall. There is little doubt that this contributed considerably to the mudslides. So, as sad as it is : YES there is a responsibility in NOT having assured that these generators would do their job.

Red Creek Jan 21, 2018 05:16 PM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

If the lawsuits result in any significant losses to any of the 8 water districts in Montecito (MWD is just the largest), could that result in bankruptcy and loss of water systems? MWD is not the cause of the disaster and did have reasonable safety systems in place.

a-1529282007 Jan 21, 2018 05:00 PM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

Anyone who enters into any of these lawsuits should only do so with the written understanding that they are not liable for any payments to the lawyers involved, no expenses, nothing, unless a favorable money settlement is reached. The only way that the water district or any other public entity will be held even party liable is in a case of criminal or possibly gross negligence, both of which difficult to prove in a major disaster of this magnitude. The courts are loath to make public entities responsible for the consequences occurring in tandem with the power of nature. I would not give any lawyer a dime up front!

mrtrump Jan 21, 2018 04:26 PM
Montecito Water District Issues Statement on Pending Lawsuit

If it is found that the Water District system failed and caused or contributed to the mudslide, then the entire water system should be shut down, permanently removed and no new water pipelines or systems allowed to be installed in Montecito. There is no way that any water system can be made fail-proof. The loss of life and environmental damage caused by the mudslide must not be repeated.

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