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Quality of Life

Mountain View apartment residents affected by January flooding to sue city

Residents of a Mountain View apartment complex who lost everything in January’s flooding say they are going to sue the City of San Diego.

Chollas Creek runs alongside the apartments at 4150 National Ave. in Mountain View. The 32-unit complex flooded on Jan. 22, destroying renters’ belongings. 

Why it matters

Attorney John Gomez is representing about half of the residents affected by flooding. He said the City of San Diego neglected to keep the channel free of debris.


“We feel like folks that were displaced or harmed that live in apartments that are renters deserve justice, too. So we’re here to help these San Diegans,” Gomez said.       

By the numbers

The same complex flooded in December 2018, and the building's owner, 4150 National Ave LLC, sued the city of San Diego for damages. The city settled the case for $423,689.52.

Gomez is considering a separate lawsuit against the owners, saying they knew that flooding could happen but didn’t inform tenants.

“They were not told that this had happened before to this exact complex, and so they were unable to make informed choices or decisions about whether they’re going to live here or not," Gomez said. "They weren’t able to take precautions against this when it started to rain."  

Closer look

Resident Elmer Pineda said his family was now homeless, and they blame the city.


“We had lost everything. I even lost my TV, everything. Couch, everything. Bed, everything. Everything’s gone. My car, everything. I don’t have nothing,” Pineda said.   

His daughter Maria Pineda described how her sister and two small children were trapped in the apartment.

“It’s a really scary thing, not only that she almost lost her life on her birthday. She almost lost her babies' lives, too,” Maria said.

She said her sister held one baby over her head and another under her arm and climbed out a window.

Looking ahead

The firm, Gomez Trial Attorneys, is collecting donations including food, clothing, blankets, gift cards and toiletries through Feb. 19 for residents who lost their belongings during the flooding.