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Families Who Lost Their Homes In Majestic Hills Landslide Could Finally Get A Payout

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) -- After years of waiting, the families who lost their homes in a massive landslide in the Majestic Hills neighborhood of North Strabane Township could finally get a payout.

But attorneys involved say that might not happen. Douglas Grimes is one of the people who lost his home.

"It went within about a week," said Grimes.

Grimes is reliving what he and his wife went through in June 2018.

"It went from being a crack in the backyard behind the house of a couple of inches, to within seven days that crack just severed and dropped about 30 feet straight down as a sheer cliff," Grimes said.

They lived in the home for about three and a half years before they were forced to move out, and their home was demolished. They eventually bought a new house but had to pay two mortgages since landslides aren't covered by homeowners insurance.

"You're left to only pursue recovery through the civil process," said Grimes.

More than three and half years after the landslide, Grimes is still waiting to get reimbursed for his loss. However, an attorney representing Majestic Hills says that could be taken away.

"Majestic Hills, LLC has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a plan that's ready to be approved next week, but there are parties opposing the plan," said attorney David Valencik.

Valencik says the Department of Environmental Protection, North Strabane Township and Ryan Homes are the parties objecting to the plan. It's a $3.7 million fund created to pay out the six homes impacted, fix the land and pay other parties involved.

Grimes said he and his wife hope to get around $400,000. But if that doesn't happen, he says it will be just another punch in the gut.

"This is home. It was nice to be back home. At this point, I wish I'd never moved back," said Grimes.

KDKA reached out to NVR Inc., the company that operates under the name Ryan Homes, and it had no comment.

KDKA also reached out to the North Strabane Township manager and the attorneys representing him but have not heard back.

The DEP says it can't comment on pending litigation. However, the DEP says it's working to ensure the hillside is permanently stable throughout the neighborhood.

As for who's at fault, Valencik and the attorney representing JND Properties, which is the owner and manager of Majestic Hills, said that's yet to be determined.

State Senator Camera Bartolotta says she's trying to secure funding to help secure the hillside and protect a sewer line that she says could be in jeopardy.

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