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.