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Claims filed for six victims of Washington mudslide

Claims accuse Snohomish County, Wash., and Washington state of failing to notify residents of threat of landslide.
By Danielle Haynes   |   May 1, 2014 at 8:06 AM   |   Comments

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OSO, Wash., May 1 (UPI) -- The survivors of three generations of one family that died as a result of the Oso, Wash., mudslide in March filed claims against Snohomish County and the state of Washington.

The court documents don't specify a monetary claim, but say a jury would likely award several million dollars once the claims turn into a lawsuit.

The court documents were filed on behalf of the survivors of six family members who lived next door to one another and died in the mudslide.

Shane, 43, and Katie Ruthven, 34, and their sons, Hunter, 6, and Wyatt, 4, died in the March 22 mudslide. Shane Ruthven's parents, Lewis, 71, and JuDee Vandenburg, 64, also died. The grandparents lived next door in a recreational vehicle.

The claims argue the county and state's Department of Natural Resources failed to warn residents living in the area of landslide dangers. The mudslide killed 41 people and left at least two people missing.

Claims have already been filed on behalf of other mudslide victims who died, including Lon Slauson, 60, and Thomas Durnell.

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