The concept of ‘reasonable care’ on unstable hillsides
The old common-law rules of strict liability with regard to earth movement have given way to the more modern legal doctrine of “reasonable care” in the California court system, which hears the largest number of earth movement-related cases in the United States. Reasonable care doctrine is more case specific, and emanates from the legal definition of “negligence,” or the exercise of responsible conduct for which a professional is always held accountable, regardless of liability-limitation agreements. Three landmark California decisions are briefly profiled, including the most recent, in which the California State Supreme Court ruled that it is common knowledge that all fill embankments will settle, just as rotten trees or dilapidated buildings can be expected to collapse. The chapter concludes with the implications for geopractitioners in today's ever-evolving legal climate.
Figures & Tables
Provides a variety of case histories, methodology to help identify, quantify, and mitigate landlsides, and legal cases affecting engineering geology. Part I provides basic information to aid in assessing geologic hazards related to compound landslides, surficial slope failures, and causes of distress to residential construction. Includes changes in the law relating to geologic investigations and disclosure of geotechnical information. Part II is a cross section dealing with recent significant landslides related to a single storm, intense rainfall, possible errors in the identification of and development on an existing or paleolandslide, and the use of pumping wells and horizontal drains to dewater slope failures. Also discusses how proper installation and use of drains prevent paleolandlsides from causing damage to modern facilities.