As anyone who has read my series on the Logan Northern Canal disaster knows, Utah is no stranger to landslides. Now, one family has experienced its third back yard slide in as many years. The backyard of the home, located at 940 Lofty Lane in North Salt Lake, slid again about 7:00 a.m. yesterday morning. Pieces of the retaining wall that failed damaged a house below but fortunately, no one was injured.
After the second slide in the two years since they purchased the home, the homeowners installed the retaining wall with the hope of preventing any further slides. Despite the wall, the slide measured 150 wide and was the worst of the three.
The cause of this last slide is not yet known, but the homeowner suspects a problem in the irrigation system because it was turned on Sunday and left on for a test. But the cause does not really matter at this point – what matters now is what to do next.
With children in the home, the homeowners no longer feel safe and they feel like they are running out of options. The insurance company that covers the home has balked at repairs and the family paid $130,000 to have the retaining wall built. It was inspected and approved by the city but now the family is asking why the city allowed the the home to be built in the first place. The city’s response is that it will study the issue and review engineering reports when they are complete. For the family’s sake, let’s hope that the outcome keeps a roof over their heads and keeps them safe.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.