Earth Movement, Flooding & Landslides


Usually triggered by rainfall, the underlying cause of landslides can be attributable to many man-made problems including poor design, construction, inadequate drainage, mismanagement or governmental activity in the area. Issues of engineering and geology are central in almost every case.

We specialize in representing individuals and/or government agencies in a wide array of cases from simple failures, to some of the most complex landslide litigation in California. Our lawyers and team of experts and consultants are perfectly positioned to establish and defend liability and damages.

Decades of experience, including securing multiple multi-million dollar judgments is what sets us apart from other firms.  David B. Casselman  has extensive experience in landslide litigation. He was a lead defense attorney representing the Los Angeles County entities in the massive Big Rock Mesa landslide in Malibu in the early 1980's. In the Big Rock Mesa case, 250 homeowners claimed that development of the hillside area above Pacific Coast Highway with seepage pits and horizontal drains, rather than sewers, contributed to a rise in ground water, which triggered a massive landslide.
 
This mega-trial was described by the Los Angeles Times as having the potential to be "one of the biggest and longest civil trials ever held in the nation."

By comparison, he was also lead counsel in the Montecito landslide litigation representing a large group of affected homeowners. Despite limited physical damage to most of the homes, Mr. Casselman secured an $84 million settlement from Caltrans, believed to be the largest in Santa Barbara history.

Mr. Casselman handles inverse condemnation and landslide cases spanning from San Diego to San Francisco. Settlements and verdicts also include:

•    A $94,500,000 inverse condemnation jury verdict against the City of San Diego, involving interference with development of a business park.
 
•         An $84,000,000 inverse condemnation settlement against Caltrans, involving a landslide undermining adjacent homes in Santa Barbara.

•    A $9,000,000 settlement following trial of the issue of liability against the City of Glendale, arising from a residential landslide caused by poor street design and maintenance.

•    An $8.5 million settlement on behalf of 150 homeowners against the City of Highland, the County of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Flood Control District, regarding mudslides and flooding of a storm drainage channel.