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$15 Million Claim Filed For Damages From Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

File / California Department of Water Resources

Water flows over the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville on Feb. 11, 2017.

File / California Department of Water Resources

The operators of a Walnut farm in Butte County say flooding from the Oroville Dam emergency in February cost them $15 million due to damaged trees, equipment, and buildings.

The growers have filed a claim with the State of California.

Niall McCarthy is an attorney for Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, which is the firm representing the growers.

"If you sue the State of California, you must file a claim within six months," McCarthy says. "That period is going to expire in the next week to ten days. So, step one is you file a claim. The state has the ability to accept or reject that claim. The vast majority of times, the state rejects that claim and a lawsuit is filed."

The growers accuse the Department of Water Resources and the Division of Safety of Dams of acting recklessly by failing to correct known problems.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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