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City of Bellevue settles with family who lost home after landslide

The Surdi family will receive $3 million from the city and another $2 million from the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A Bellevue family whose home was demolished after it was severely damaged by a landslide in 2022 will receive a total of $5 million in a settlement with the city and Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.

The city will pay the family $3 million, while the school will pay another $2 million. The Bellevue City Council approved the settlement payment on Dec. 11.

As part of the settlement, the city and school will also dismiss their claims for damages against each other. The city sued the private school earlier this year, alleging large amounts of fill were placed on top of a pipe over the years, adding “significant weight and pressure.” The pipe, located on school property, separated at a joint which ultimately led to the landslide, according to the city.

In a statement to KING 5, the city said it's "first and foremost" thankful nobody was hurt in the landslide.

"While the city still contends the slide occurred due to factors out of its control, this resolution reflects a negotiated outcome among the Surdi family, the City, and the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart to resolve this issue for this Bellevue family without further delay," the statement reads.

The $3 million from the city will come from the city's General Self-Insurance Fund.

John and Barbara Surdi's home on 139th Place in Bellevue came off its foundation after a city water pipe burst and caused a mudslide on Jan. 17. A pre-tort claim alleged the city was negligent in not addressing decades-old asbestos concrete pipes and putting in measures that could have prevented the rupture and subsequent collapse of the family's home.

Their home was demolished in February 2022 after the city filed a complaint against the family for not allowing the structure, which was standing at an angle above a public road, to be removed. 

In addition to the estimated $3.1 million value of the home, the Surdis' claim estimated between $325,000-$550,000 in lost personal belongings and cash. John Surdi's carpet cleaning business was based out of the home and estimates the lost business property to be between $300,000 and $600,000. The couple also included lodging and remediation expenses while seeking a new home estimated "at least $300,000."

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