City of Everett, neighbor sued over lost trees, mudslide

EVERETT —Two brothers who say a landslide on their Mukilteo Boulevard property was caused in part by neighbors who cut down trees for a better view are suing the city of Everett, the neighbors and the tree cutter.

Brothers Chris Chase and Todd Chase, both of Everett, are asking the neighbors and tree cutter for $341,190 to compensate for dozens of trees cut down without permission, at least $75,000 for the lost value of the land plus an unspecified amount for trespass.

The Chases also are asking a judge to hold the city accountable, since they say Everett officials issued permits that allowed uphill neighbors to drain water onto their land.

“This isn’t right from start to finish,” Chris Chase said. “That’s what’s got me fired up.”

The neighbors, Fredric and Holly Anderson, said it was a mistake and plan to commit $100,000 to making things right.

The Chases’ property is 8 acres of undeveloped land at Merrill and Ring creeks that has been owned by their family for three-quarters of a century.

In June, the brothers say the Andersons, who live in a million-dollar home on a ridge above their land, hired someone to cut down as many as 38 trees — some on their property and some on the Chases’ property. With those trees gone, the Andersons have a clear view of Port Gardner.

A few weeks later, the same neighbor’s irrigation pipe ruptured and spilled an estimated 250,000 gallons of water onto the Chases’ land, according to the lawsuit. A house-sized hunk of earth came loose and rumbled down the gully.

It’s not clear if the landslide was caused by the tree cutting, the ruptured pipe or some combination. Who actually wielded the chain saw has never been revealed by the Andersons.

When the mud settled, the Chases found other drainage pipes, also installed without permission, running from their neighbors’ land across their property.

City officials said they’ve done everything they can legally and that includes considering criminal charges against the Anderson. Everett police are investigating.

Chris Chase said he’s angry that the city allowed the Andersons to continue to let water drain onto his land and for approving a retaining wall after the landslide that he believes helps his neighbors but does nothing to restore his property.

The Chases filed a temporary restraining order to stop work on the retaining wall last week, but a court commissioner, fearing the Andersons house might slide down the hill, said Wednesday that work on the wall could continue.

John Dippold, the Andersons’ Seattle attorney, said his clients are perplexed as to why the Chases tried to stop work on a wall that could prevent further damage to their property.

“While the Chase family is busy filing court actions, the Andersons want to fix the problems, but are prevented from doing so,” Dippold said. “My fear is that the Chases’ actions will exacerbate the damage to both properties.”

The Chases’ Everett attorney, Jamie Jensen, said the brothers are now considering another temporary restraining order to stop their neighbors from using their land as a drain field.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197,

Talk to us

More in Local News

Twin sisters Lyndsay Lamb (left) and Leslie Davis (right), co-hosts of HGTV's Unsellable Houses. (Photo provided)
Meet and greet HGTV’s ‘Unsellable Houses’ twin sister stars in Snohomish on Friday

Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis have made Lamb & Co. a #twinwin home-selling, home-goods brand.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

Members of South County Fire practice onboarding and offboarding a hovering Huey helicopter during an interagency disaster response training exercise at Arlington Municipal Airport on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. The crews learned about and practiced safe entry and exit protocols with crew from Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue before begin given a chance to do a live training. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish, King counties train together for region’s next disaster

Dozens of agencies worked with aviators Tuesday to coordinate a response to a simulated earthquake or tsunami.

Police stand along Linden Street next to orange cones marking pullet casings in a crime scene of a police involved shooting on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens man identified in Everett manhunt, deadly police shooting

Travis Hammons, 34, was killed by officers following a search for an armed wanted man in a north Everett neighborhood.

Ciscoe Morris, a longtime horticulturist and gardening expert, will speak at Sorticulture. (Photo provided by Sorticulture)
Get your Sorticulture on: Garden festival returns to downtown Everett

It’s a chance to shop, dance, get gardening tips, throw an axe and look through a big kaleidoscope. Admission is free.

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Snohomish County vital statistics

Marriage licenses, dissolutions and deaths.

Most Read