Little Valley Fire settlement not yet approved

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WASHOE VALLEY, NV (KOLO) - UPDATE: A status hearing in the Little Valley Fire case revealed no specific information Thursday about the settlement between the state and homeowners who lost their homes in 2016.

Instead, once the Board of Examiners approves the settlement, Washoe County District Court Judge Scott Freeman must approve it.

A magistrate in Las Vegas will then look at each claim, and decide how much each plaintiff will be compensated.

While a monetary amount was not revealed at Thursday's status hearing, that amount will be disclosed when the Board of Examiners takes the settlement under consideration June 11, 2019.

Plaintiff attorney William Jeanney said it took three days in April to come up with a settlement to which all parties could agree.

Jeanney says the progress in this case would not have been possible had there not been a new administration in the governor and attorney general's offices.

"The homeowners are at least pleased with the fact that this administration reached out them," said Jeanney. "This governor and this attorney general tried to solve the problem. And it was a difficult problem to solve. Because of the overlaying legal issues and the amount of damages that were involved," he said.

Jeanney says the cooperation with the state now is in stark contrast to what homeowners experienced just after the Little Valley Fire.

"The government should step forward, reach out to those homeowners, those taxpayers and say, hey, look, I'll help you the best way I can," said Jeanney. "It shouldn't be, hey, look, you know I'm going to force you into a court room, where for two and a half weeks, you have to try a case, in order for you to prove what we did wrong. And they knew what they did wrong," he said.

62 plaintiffs were involved in the case, plus multiple insurance companies.

Judge Freeman has scheduled another hearing June 27, 2019 in his courtroom.

ORIGINAL STORY: A settlement has been reached in the Little Valley Fire trial.

Details of the settlement have not been revealed, but the case is scheduled to be back in district court Thursday, June 17, 2019.

In October 2016, a controlled burn flared out of control and destroyed more than 20 homes in Washoe Valley.

In August 2018, the Nevada Division of Forestry was found guilty of gross negligence.

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