The famously coiffed NFL star Troy Polamalu and his wife are suing the son of local billionaire Ernest Rady, saying he sold them a $4.75 million La Jolla home whose backyard then collapsed into a canyon. 

Harry Rady, son of financier and philanthropist Ernest Rady, said through his lawyer that he didn’t own the property, although he owns a share of the corporation that did.

Polamalu and his wife, Theodora, say in their lawsuit that they purchased a home on Colgate Circle, near La Jolla Scenic Drive, in 2009 and spent more than $2.3 million improving it. Then last December, the suit says, about 2,000 square feet of their backyard collapsed, following an earlier landslide in January 2010.

The Polamalus blame Rady. Their attorney, Stuart M. Eppsteiner, said in a statement that Rady essentially “bought an old house in La Jolla, tore it down to the foundation, built a new house, and imported 4,000 cubic yards of soil to create a large backyard extending out into a canyon. Unfortunately for the Polamalus, Rady never disclosed the grading, let alone the fact that it was performed without permits, inspections or approvals from the City of San Diego. The concealed and unpermitted work has literally slid into the canyon behind the home.”

Polamalu is a defensive back with the Pittsburgh Steelers, known for his giant head of hair and the skills on the field that helped lead his team to the Super Bowl in January. Last season, the Associated Press named him NFL Defensive Player of the year. He played collegiate football at the University of Southern California.

The Polamalus are suing Rady along with a construction company, a corporation linked to Rady, a real estate company and a real estate agent, seeking damages of $7.5 million.

In a brief statement, Rady’s attorney, Arthur S. Moreau, said the property is owned by the corporation HRMR Inc., in which Rady has an ownership interest. The firm relied on the expertise of construction workers, the statement says, adding that both the corporation and Rady strongly contest the allegations.

Harry Rady is CEO of Rady Asset Management Company and manages a mutual fund. The company website says he’s chairman of the investment committee for Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Rady School of Management at UCSD.

We wrote about Harry Rady in 2007, when he pleaded guilty to one count of receiving firearms without a license, connected to his efforts to protect his family after a well-publicized crime at his father’s home. Federal authorities discovered an arsenal of weapons at his home, including rifles, shotguns, pistols and grenades. At least six weapons were illegal in California.

Ernest Rady, his wife and their housekeeper were attacked and bound during a home invasion robbery earlier in 2007.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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