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

County to make public its Kaloko Dam settlement cost

Advertiser Staff

Kaua'i 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 yesterday.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe of the 5th Circuit Court 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 expected to take two weeks, county officials said.

The ruling follows a request by The Advertiser in November to have the settlement amounts the state and Kaua'i County must pay made public.

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.