Feds Settle 2008 Nevada Levee Break for $18M

     RENO, Nev. (CN) – The federal government agreed to pay nearly $18.2 million to settle a federal class action arising from the January 2008 Truckee Canal flooding of hundreds of homes in Fernley, Nevada.
     Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd George approved the $18,183,800 settlement during a hearing on March 11, and ordered the federal government, on behalf of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, to place the money in a settlement distribution fund.
     Forty percent of the money will go to homeowners who suffered real property damage; 10 percent to individual flood victims for personal property damage; and 50 percent to individual flood victims to settle personal injury and emotional distress claims.
     The amount each victim receives also varies.
     Homeowners who suffered water intrusion in their living space will receive twice as much as those who only had water enter their garage or crawlspace. Homeowners who had water enter their garage or crawlspace will get double what homeowners who had water on their property, but not in their homes, will receive.
     Those who suffered no losses receive nothing, unless special circumstances apply. An engineer used elevation surveys and other data to determine the level of flooding in each home, George wrote.
     George also awarded $7,273,520 in attorneys’ fees and $580,997.14 for legal costs to the plaintiff class.
     The plaintiff class accused the Truckee Carson Irrigation District and others of not properly maintaining the Truckee Canal and delaying its response after a levee break flooded more than 600 homes in Fernley on Jan. 5, 2008. Many homeowners suffered water, mold and mildew damage.
     Attorneys for the Reno Law Group represented lead plaintiff Judy Kroshus and the class and did not immediately respond to a telephone request for comment on Tuesday afternoon.
     Truckee-Carson Irrigation District Project Manager Rusty Jardine also did not immediately respond to a telephone request for comment on Tuesday.

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