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Southside homes are surrounded by flood water that froze into ice in February 2017.

ELKO – An Elko judge rejected a motion by the City of Elko to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Southside residents who were affected by the Humboldt River flood in February 2017.

District Judge Al Kacin denied the motion on March 13. It was filed by the City on Nov. 2 in an effort to end the lawsuit filed by more than 60 people whose homes and properties sustained damage.

According to court documents, the City’s attorneys made a motion to dismiss the third amended complaint, stating that the City is entitled to discretionary immunity regarding actions and decisions made regarding flapper valves and culverts dating back more than three decades.

The City also contended that “the plaintiffs have otherwise failed to state trespass, nuisance and inverse condemnation claims for which relief can be granted.”

The plaintiffs are suing the City at $15,000 per cause of action, totaling $4.26 million, plus attorney’s fees and expenses.

The court also said it disagreed with a motion to three of the causes of action, leaving only a $15,000 payout to each plaintiff for negligence, or a total of $1,065,000.

Kacin said “in the court’s opinion, the plaintiffs have not failed to state a claim for trespass, nuisance and inverse condemnation.”

Plaintiffs alleged in the third amended complaint that the city and about 50 parties including corporate, associate or otherwise “were responsible in some manner” for the damages to real and personal property that caused “emotional distress, annoyance, and inconvenience,” along with a devaluation of property.

Prior to a hearing on motions conducted in Kacin’s court on Feb. 15, both sides participated in two mediation hearings. It is unclear if or when a date for trial will be set.

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