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1515-1519 Lakeview Blvd. Condo. Ass'n v. Apartment Sales Corp.

Supreme Court of Washington
43 P.3d 1233 (Wash. 2002)


Facts

The City of Seattle (the City) (defendant) allowed the construction of several condominiums. Due to concerns about the stability of the ground on which the condominiums were to be built, the City required the developer to enter into a covenant that exculpated the City from any liability for damages caused by soil movement. The condominiums were built and sold. Later, the soil gave way, and the condos were rendered uninhabitable. The owners, through the 1515-1519 Lakeview Boulevard Condominium Association (plaintiff), brought suit against the City, alleging that the City should never have issued the building permits and had negligently maintained storm drains. The homeowners did not dispute that the covenant existed, that it was properly recorded, or that they had notice of it. The homeowners instead challenged its enforceability. The trial court entered summary judgment on behalf of the City on multiple bases, including the covenant and assumption of risk. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on the building permit claims, but reinstated the negligent storm drain maintenance claims. The City then petitioned the Supreme Court of Washington for review, which was granted.

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Holding and Reasoning (Chambers, J.)

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