Tort claim filed against county

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By Carol A. Clark

Adam Shipman filed a tort claim notice with the Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office Monday for damage he says was caused to his home at 2399-B 37th Street during phase II of the Diamond Drive Project. A tort claim is a federal or state act which, under certain conditions, waives governmental immunity and allows lawsuits by people who claim they have been harmed by wrongful acts including negligence, by government agencies or their employees.

Shipman states in his claim that the county created a sheer drop on his property line, reaching 12-feet high. In addition to crossing over his property line, Shipman claims the excavation also undercut his property in several places, adding that the encroachment is up to two feet beyond a 20-foot section of the 70.5-foot property line between his house and Diamond Drive.

“The vertical face of the drop is composed of loose soil and existing earth, and it is not structurally supported by any artificial means,” Shipman said. “To date, 59 days since the initial cliff was created, there has not ever been any restraint preventing a fall from my property over the cliff. To be clear, there is not an easement in this section of land.”

Shipman says he met twice with Rey Gonzales, the county’s manager on the project, and said he was never informed of the April 14 excavation of his land.

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