Appeals court rules on Kauai dam breach civil suit

Ruling says lower court was wrong to let 17 insurance companies out of civil suit

Published  9:33 AM HST Aug 08, 2013
Kaloko Dam
LIHUE, Hawaii -

A state appeals court ruling says a lower court was wrong to let 17 insurance companies out of a civil lawsuit involving a deadly 2006 Kauai dam breach.

The state Intermediate Court of Appeals on Wednesday sent the case back to circuit court. The Garden Island reports the ruling says the lower court was wrong to rule that insurers had no duty to defend against property damage.

Civil suits were filed after the Ka Loko Dam break killed seven people.

The appellate ruling now means the cases can move forward.

Retired car dealer and landowner James Pflueger pleaded last month in the criminal case. He accepted a deal to plead no contest to reckless endangering in exchange for dropping seven manslaughter counts.

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