Ranch company faulted
A Ventura County jury found that the La Conchita Ranch Co.’s failure to build a sufficient drainage system was partly to blame for a 2005 landslide that killed 10 people and caused major disruption to Highway 101, the Tri-Counties’ main transportation artery, according to published reports.
The ranch manager and the county were cleared. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that the ranch, which grows lemons and avocados above the tiny town of La Conchita, allowed too much of that year’s rains to soak into its soil. The ranch argued that the area isn’t stable, pointing to previous mud slides.
The ranch won’t face punitive damages because the jury found it wasn’t reckless. It could take as long as a month for the jury to decide on damages.