In the 1980’s an unreinforced concrete block retaining wall was constructed along the boundary between two properties in Daleys Point on the Central Coast. The retaining wall was effective until the early 2000’s when the owner of the adjoining property placed additional earth fill adjoining to the wall and also discharged roofwater into the fill.
During heavy rainfall the wall failed. The owner of the property engaged SCE to advise the cause of the failure and the remedial works required, During the initial investigation SCE advised the most economical solution was to construct a new wall along the boundary that complied with the current building standards. However, due to an estimated cost of $100,000, the property owner chose to embark on litigation during which the neighbour then alleged the wall was inadequate and would have failed in any case. SCE prepared a report outlining the true cause which was accepted by the court.
A new wall was constructed and various issues were resolved under SCE review. The owner however was now several hundred thousand dollars out of pocket due to the increased wall cost and the legal costs that were not recoverable.