News brief: Lawsuits on forestry practices’ link to 2007 flood damage moving forward

Monday, January 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Washington State Supreme Court has decided four lawsuits arising from widespread flooding of the Chehalis River in December 2007 in Lewis County don’t have to be handled in Lewis County Superior Court, but may be dealt with in King County.

The petitioners had filed separate suits in King County Superior Court asserting that poor forestry practices made the land unstable during the heavy rains, allowed landslides to form and then debris to flow into the river; which in turn displaced river water and caused damage to their properties.

The respondents are Weyerhaeuser Company, Green Diamond Resource Company and the state Department of Natural Resources.

It’s the second time the state Supreme Court has considered questions related to the appropriate forum for the cases. After the first time they remanded for further proceedings, the respondents promptly moved to transfer venue to Lewis County and the move was granted.

The nine justices unanimously agreed in their opinion issued on Thursday. Justice Mary I. Yu wrote the law did not provide for exclusive proper venue in Lewis County, but that King County is another possible proper place to hear the cases.

The petitioners are William Ralph, William Forth, Guy Bauman, Eileen Bauman, Linda Stanley, Rochelle Stanley, Donald LeMaster, David Givens, Virginia Carey, Jamie Carey and Paradyce Industries Inc.

Weyerhaeuser  and Green Diamond are headquartered in King County.

In the Supreme Court of the state of Washington: No. 91711-6 – Ralph v. Weyerhaeuser  Co., here

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2 Responses to “News brief: Lawsuits on forestry practices’ link to 2007 flood damage moving forward”

  1. still waiting for justice says:

    maybe, but the timber companies had nothing to do with the weather events that led to the “perfect storm” of flooding, but they do have money, so they should pay…….big, well if they pay big, then yours and mine paper & wood products will go up as a price of doing business-so be prepared to pay more for wiping your a$$.

  2. Bo Rupert says:

    I hope that the timber companies lose big!

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