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Fort Washington homeowners outraged by county lawsuit | News

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Fort Washington homeowners outraged by county lawsuit

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. (WUSA9) --Several Fort Washington homeowners are outraged after learning Prince George's County is filing a lawsuit against them over issues from last year's "slope failure" event.

The county filed a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction to take-over and demolish three homes in order to begin repairs and secure the slope along Piscataway Drive.

"I'm so freaking disgusted that I can't even -- and somebody voted for these guys? Seriously? Mr. Baker, do you know? Are you directing this? Do you understand what your people are doing to us here? You're putting us in financial ruin," Tracy Rookard, one of the homeowners named in suit said.

Rookard told WUSA9 she is not against repairing the slope, but she and at least two other homeowners have been trying unsuccessfully to negotiate with the county, who, with the help of FEMA, was able to make an offer on their essentially condemned properties.

However, the homeowners say the offers given were not a fair market price. They have not accepted.

"You don't want to pay the mortgage off and you are now telling me that you're filing suit against me to take my home and don't have to pay me anything whatsoever? That is incomprehensible," said Rookard.

The county filed on Friday looking to begin construction on June 8.

Fort Washington residents and county have spent more than a year debating what caused the roadway on Piscataway Drive to give way.

The displaced homeowners argue years of county neglect and lack of proper drainage on Piscataway drive caused the slide.

In the injunction filed, the county claims the slope failure on the homeowners' property is what took out the roadway.
They feel the private homeowners are responsible.


Ever since May 4, 2014, Rookard said she and the other homeowners have paid for studies (including their own home appraisals) and offered solutions.

"There's a way that this can be handled. But they won't see it," said Rookard.

A Prince George's County spokesperson told WUSA9 there is a process to obtaining FEMA funds they have to follow, but would not comment further due to possible pending litigation.

It is not clear what will happened to the offers made available with FEMA assistance.

Attorneys for both the homeowners and county are expected to discuss the lawsuit at 8:30 a.m., Monday.

County documents say 28 Fort Washington homes were originally affected by the slope failure.