At the Oct. 21 board meeting, the Virgin Valley Water District Board voted unanimously to hire a law firm and sue the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool commonly known as “Pool Pact.”
The district contends the insurer failed to provide coverage on two claims, each for $500,000. The claims are for losses the district sustained when two district employees fraudulently transferred district owned water shares in the Bunkerville Irrigation District. Pool Pact has maintained that shares of water are not “securities” and thus ineligible for coverage.
Attorney Bo Bingham told the board that they had been unable to get a satisfactory response from Pool Pact or schedule a meeting with the Pool Pact board. “We didn’t get a real sense that they actually wanted to sit down with us and resolve this,” said Bingham.
Bingham told the board “At the direction of the board and staff, we looked at hiring a firm on contingency which would not cost the board any out of pocket money.” Bingham told the board he had contacted several attorneys and one firm stood out as having the most experience in insurance coverage litigation, Morales Fierro and Reeves. “Ramie Morales has reviewed all the information and he will take the case on a contingency basis,” said Bingham.
Director Rich Bowler said, “I don’t really want to put the ratepayers on the hook for any more lawyer bills so I favor the contingency.” Bingham agreed and said that “We have done everything we can possibly do short of this action.” Director Bubba Smith added “I believe we are going to have a positive outcome from it.”
Director Ellestad moved to hire Morales Fierro and Reeves on a contingency basis and allow legal counsel to negotiate the fees. The motion was passed unanimously.