10-01Posted on Jul 28, 2010 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 10-01
July 28, 2010
Settlement Proceeds Paid by County’s Private Insurers
Kauai County asked whether the County could keep confidential the amounts paid under its private liability insurance policies to settle claims against the County related to the Ka Loko Dam breach on March 14, 2006 (the Insurance Proceeds).
OIP opined: (1) that the Insurance Proceeds could not be kept confidential based upon a confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement because such a clause must yield to the UIPA’s provisions; and (2) that no UIPA exception allows the County to withhold the Insurance Proceeds from public disclosure.
In so finding, OIP rejected a distinction between settlement payments made from public coffers versus private insurance proceeds. OIP found that the County’s total settlement amount reflects the expenditure of public funds, either directly from County coffers or indirectly through the payment of insurance premiums.