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Oroville Files Lawsuit Against DWR Over Dam Crisis

The City of Oroville has filed a lawsuit against the State of California claiming managers ignored maintenance needs and condoned shoddy repair work in the years prior to the crisis last February that led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people living below the Oroville Dam. The case was filed Wednesday in Butte County Superior Court and seeks monetary damages to reimburse the city for the cost of the evacuation, lost sales tax and tourism revenue and other unspecified expenses. The lawsuit quotes one worker who said he was part of a crew in 2013 and was ordered to drag a chain across the spillway and listen for hollow sounds that might indicate voids in the concrete underneath. He says one of the workers assigned to that task was deaf. The suit also claims that managers routinely ignored racist behavior among workers, saying a noose was left in a break room to harass an African-American employee.