Dam-failure lawsuits close to settlement
August 9, 2009
LIHUE Â» Court documents show tentative settlements have been reached in eight lawsuits filed after an earthen dam burst on the island of Kauai in 2006, killing seven people.
The wrongful-death lawsuits and a property-damage claim by entertainer Bette Midler and others blamed the owners of the century-old Kaloko Dam, among others, for the dam failure that sent more than 300 million gallons of water flooding three miles to the sea.
Seven people were swept to their deaths by the 20-foot-high wave. Midler is one of the area’s largest landowners, with 38 acres.
A hearing on the settlements is set for Sept. 8. Details of the agreements were not disclosed.
Landowner James Pflueger is awaiting trial on seven counts of manslaughter and one of reckless endangering.