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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kauai share of Kaloko settlement to be disclosed in two weeks

Advertiser Staff

Kauaçi County’s share of a legal settlement following the 2006 Kaloko dam disaster that killed seven people will be disclosed in about two weeks, following a court ruling Tuesday.

Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe granted the county’s motion to unseal the settlement. Watanabe’s oral order now has to be approved by all parties and signed by the judge — a process that’s expected to take two weeks, county officials said.
The ruling follows a request by The Advertiser in November to make public the amounts that the state and Kauaçi County owed as part of a settlement.
The county had said it wants the settlement unsealed to reveal to the public how much money the county has to pay the plaintiffs and the amount to be covered by insurance.
About 60 plaintiffs in various lawsuits related to the dam breach agreed last year to a “global settlement” of the lawsuits, with a settlement amount of $25 million.
The state’s share is $1.5 million, it was reported last year.
Other defendants in the settled lawsuits include current and former owners of the Kaloko dam and reservoir, including retired auto dealer Jimmy Pflueger; engineering firms and contractors that did work in the area; insurance firms; and the irrigation company that distributed reservoir water to farmers.