Class-action status granted for Northern Nevada canal suit

RENO -- A state judge in Lyon County has granted class-action status to flood victims suing the Truckee Carson Irrigation District over the collapse of part of a century-old canal that sent water into Fernley in January 2008.

The new order is the latest in a complicated series of legal cases in both state and federal court that already involve more than 30 lawyers representing six government entities, real estate agents, homebuilders, construction companies and potentially more than 500 homeowners.

Heavy rain preceded the canal collapse in 2008 in an area that averages only 5 inches of precipitation annually. Nearly 600 homes reported damage. Damage estimates reached $4 million across the town, which was declared a federal and state disaster area.