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Insurance policy is quite clear

Readers' Letters
by: Tribune File Photo, Kathei Hendrickson, owner of the home on Southwest Burlington Place that slid in October 2008 down a hill into two other houses, is suing her insurance company for refusing to pay for the damages, but some letter writers predict she will not prevail.

Although I do feel sympathy for the Hendricksons, that is tempered by the knowledge that they knew, or should have known, that they were not covered for a landslide loss (Landslide, legal fight swallow home, April 1). Not only is it in their policy, but it's very clearly stated right up front in the promotional brochure.

And Kathei Hendrickson's statement, 'We don't think it was a landslide,' is disingenuous at best, and downright dishonest in my opinion. Anyone owning a house on a hillside in Western Oregon would be foolish not to make sure they don't have coverage for both 'earth movement' and earthquake.

I believe the trial has concluded and the jury ruled in favor of the insurance company. I imagine there will be appeals, but under the circumstances I don't see how the Hendricksons can possibly prevail.

James P. Price

Salem

Sympathy for landslide victims

Ms. Hendrickson is incorrect that no one sympathizes with her plight (Landslide, legal fight swallow home, April 1).

I feel terrible for all of the families affected by this tragedy. When my husband and I walk by the landslide area, we still commiserate with each other about how that event changed the residents' lives.

We wish them all well and hope that someday soon these memories will be solidly replaced with happy times.

Ann Friday

Southwest Portland

Insurance industry is not at fault

Your story written from the (landslide) homeowners' perspective is understandable to an extent; the insurer cannot comment on pending litigation. But the facts are inescapable: The Hendricksons never read their insurance policy (Landslide, legal fight swallow home, April 1). If they had, they'd have known 'earth movement' is one of the exclusions to which their agent alluded.

All of us with insurance policies contribute to the pool of funds used to honor valid claims; it should not be looted out of sympathy because someone thought they had coverage the policy never intended to offer.

Would prudent people sign other contracts without reading them? Not likely. The insurer will probably win this suit, because the Hendricksons did not pay a premium to cover this risk. And good luck finding a policy that doesn't exclude 'earth movement.'

Yet the insurer is demonized in the article as being 'the villains in this.' This practice of one-sided, unfair demonization of the insurance industry is partly why we have Obamacare today.

Will the Portland Tribune give equal space to the outcome of the litigation? And if Farmers prevails, how will that be characterized - 'victory' on a technicality, or the righteous outcome of a frivolous lawsuit?

Lee Moon

Battle Ground, Wash.

Exploitative society cannot continue

What this new study says to me is that we, as a society, must grow up (Reports show carbon sources, April 1). We must admit the bitter truth that much of our prosperity is based on cheap energy and free pollution. For too long we have been behaving like children playing with all our toys and making a big mess, with no intention of picking up after ourselves. 'Don't spoil my fun! I can do what I want, when I want, as long as I want! The next generation can pick up after me!'

A long-postponed part of the payment for that 'fun' is coming due if we want to have any hope of handing over to our children and grandchildren a planet that is not swaddled with fumes and waste.

We now must have the faith and courage to believe our instruments, our scientists, and quit flying the planet by the seat of our pants. We know a degraded and deteriorating environment and resource base are not only a major environmental threat but also a major economic threat. It simply will not be possible to sustain the next generation, when billions more people will be relying on the same environment, if the production of energy, for example, continues to rest on environmental subsidies in the form of air pollution, deforestation and climate change.

Such an exploitative society cannot provide for sustained human progress.

Metro, thank you for the good information.

John Cunningham

Northeast Portland

Paper panders to liberal populace

Uh, you may want to check the wire - it appears the underlying data for all the recent global warming/climate change flap is bogus (Reports show carbon sources, April 1).

Seems they cooked it up to scare everyone into pouring trillions down the rat-hole on phony research and 'remediation,' which even they admit wouldn't change the eventuality of man's destruction of the Earth. But it would at least fund important liberal programs. Spare us your Chicken Little rantings - you expose yourselves as shameless charlatans.

If the Tribune put one-eighth the energy into objectively covering Obama as you do this phony topic, you could actually gain some readers and stand out in a thin field of real journalists. Instead, you are just another pandering shill barking out the liberal talking points to a liberal populace.

Scott Butler

Northwest Portland