Pajaro Residents Seek Justice: Lawsuits Filed Against Government for Neglecting Levee, Resulting in Devastating Floods

PAJARO, Calif. – Residents of Pajaro, California, have taken legal action against Monterey and Santa Cruz County, as well as other government entities, for their alleged negligence in maintaining the Pajaro levee. The neglect resulted in severe flooding during last year’s storms. In addition to the existing lawsuits, another legal claim is being prepared.

The residents of Pajaro are determined to ensure that their traumatic experience is not forgotten or overlooked. Lorina Mohammed, a Pajaro resident, expressed her concern, stating, “It feels like we’ve forgotten over here.” Multiple lawsuits have already been filed, with more on the way.

A 64-page lawsuit, previously reported by KION, targeted Caltrans and Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. However, an additional lawsuit is currently being prepared, and it will not only include these agencies but also the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Attorney Jefferey Nadrich, representing around 500 flood victims, argues that the Army Corps of Engineers shares liability for the damages as they approved the plans for the levee.

The majority of the population in Pajaro are low-income and undocumented individuals. Nadrich emphasized that this underserved community deserves justice. He pointed out that Monterey County had neglected their contractual obligation to maintain and clean the levee, ranking it as their lowest priority.

Nadrich expressed confidence that the evidence they have gathered will favor the flood victims he represents. However, he acknowledged that the legal process could be lengthy, lasting several years. Nevertheless, Nadrich reassured the people of Pajaro that he would persist until they recover what they have lost.

Both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties declined to comment on the ongoing litigation. Nadrich informed KION that it may take approximately two weeks before the additional lawsuit is filed.

In summary, residents of Pajaro, California, are suing Monterey and Santa Cruz County, among other government entities, for neglecting the Pajaro levee, which led to severe flooding in the town. An additional lawsuit is being prepared, targeting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with the previously mentioned agencies. The attorney representing the flood victims believes there is substantial evidence to support their claims. However, the legal process is expected to be lengthy. Both counties have chosen not to comment on the ongoing litigation.