BELLEVUE, Wash. - Several family members are filing tort claims against the City of Bellevue claiming that a city water pipe burst and caused a mudslide that destroyed their home.
According to the claims, the family members list damages worth $5 million. One family member said they passed out from the stress and had to go to urgent care. Another said they got PTSD from losing their childhood home.
The landslide occurred in the early morning hours on Jan. 17 near 139th Place Southeast and Southeast 51st Place. Emergency responders helped residents from that home and 15 other homes nearby to leave the area safely. An investigation of the cause is ongoing and will likely take months.
After a month and two days of heartache, John Surdi and his family watched their home come crashing down.
"It was unimaginably upsetting. It just, you know, it's not the end, you know, but just to see your whole life, you know, crumble in front of you and then cranes start chopping it up piece by piece," Surdi said.
The family's life has been in limbo since an early morning water main break pushed their home of 22 years off its foundation along 139th Place Southeast in the Somerset neighborhood.
Surdi's wife and their dog were rescued from inside.
With the home teetering on a hillside, he said it was impossible for them to try to save precious keepsakes.
"A lot of photographs. A lot of, you know, a lot of children's memories. All my four kids, you know, they all grew up a good part of their lives in there and Barbara and I have been married 44 years and, you know, there's 44 years of marriage plus another five before we got married all in there that's all gone," he said.
For neighbors, it has also been tough.
Some homes were red-tagged leaving people unable to return due to the unsafe structure nearby.
"Our concern has been what would happen, you know, if it collapses beyond their control and does debris start coming down because that first night, we had stuff on our grass, our driveway," neighbor, Jeff Atkin said.