600 Nevada Flood Victims Get Share of Settlement

January 17, 2012

About 600 victims of a flood caused by the failure of a century-old irrigation canal in Fernley, Nevada, in 2008 have received their share of a $10 million settlement.

The settlement funds distributed last month stemmed from class-action lawsuits against the city of Fernley, Lyon County and the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District board.

Under the settlement, Fernley paid $5 million and Lyon County $1.3 million, while insurance companies paid $3.8 million on behalf of seven irrigation district board members, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

The Jan. 5, 2008 breach of the earthen Truckee Canal sent a wall of water into Fernley, located about 30 miles east of Reno, and inundated homes. The plaintiffs allege the flood was caused by inadequate maintenance and operation of the canal.

Attorney Robert Maddox, who represents the plaintiffs, said $6 million was divided among flood victims, an estimated $3.3 million went to attorney’s fees, and $700,000 covered expert witness fees and other costs.

He said he “felt like Santa Claus” because checks were given to the flood victims on Dec. 23.

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