The photo of this failed SPL wall is pretty remarkable. It was discussed in a thread I came accross on EngTips.com. The originator of the thread (kleo) says he was involved from the contractor side on this project in a mountainous rainforest region near Cuba. He also says the wall was designed by “FHWA”, don’t know if that means US FHWA or what. But if so, I have no idea where this project would be located. The wall was designed for a 15-ft high cantilever with around 20-ft embedded with the last 7-ft being into bedrock. Check out the thread to kick in your hypothesis for kleo.
The Mt. Soledad Landslide in a La Jolla California neighborhood destroyed 3 houses and damaged others and it also shut down Mt. Soledad Road for an entire year after it occurred in October of 2007. Residents blamed the city of San Diego, and 65 homeowners filed suit, claiming that leaking pipes caused the landslide and the City should cover damages.
Last week, a superior court judge ruled in favor of the City of San Diego. So far I have not seen anything indicating if the residents plan to appeal the ruling.
One interesting note regarding the trial, the City released an 8-minute cell phone video taken by a geotechnical engineer or drilling contractor employed by the City that showed the road cracking and buckling just prior to failure. The homeowners used the video to try to make their own case. Click through for a portion of the video and a link to the full one.