A previous version of the more than $20 million settlement proposed in 2008 in a class action suit over flooding in Louisiana stemming from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita has been revised. The new settlement now includes a claims process and a plan for how payments will be calculated.
A notification program ordered by Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to alert those affected by flooding resulting from Hurricane Katrina and/or Hurricane Rita about a proposed partial class action settlement has gone into effect.
The settling defendants are: the Orleans Levee District, the Board of Commissioners of the Orleans Levee District, the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District, the Board of Commissioners of the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District, the East Jefferson Levee District, the Board of Commissioners of the East Jefferson Levee District and their insurance company.
The released parties include the settling defendants, as well as the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, their insurers and all related people.
The lawsuit alleges levees and other flood and water control structures failed and/or were overtopped as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita because they were not properly designed, inspected, or maintained, and that this failure caused property damage, personal injury and other losses. The settling defendants say that the levees failed for reasons beyond their control and that they did not do anything wrong.
The settlement class includes individuals, businesses and other entities who: (a) at the time of Hurricane Katrina and/or Rita: (1) were located, present or residing in the Parishes of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard, Louisiana, or (2) owned, leased, possessed, used or had an interest in homes, places of business or other property in these parishes; and (b) had any losses, damages, and/or injuries in any manner related to, or in any manner connected with Hurricane Katrina and/or Rita and any alleged levee failures and/or waters that originated from, over, under or through the levees under the authority or control of the levee district defendants.
Three settlement funds totaling $20,208,957.20 as of Nov. 30, 2012, have been established. This amount is the total insurance money available to the three levee district defendants plus interest. After fees, costs, expenses and Class Representative awards are paid, remaining settlement funds will be paid to eligible claimants.
A special master appointed by the court has recommended a Limited Fund Distribution Model (the Distribution Model) to calculate how available funds will be paid to people and businesses who submit valid claims.
A detailed notice, available at www.LeveeBreachClass.com, has more information about the claim types and estimated payment amounts.
Source: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana