Texas Brine agrees to $48.1 million settlement
BATON ROUGE - Texas Brine agreed today to settle a lawsuit from homeowners affected by a large sinkhole in Assumption Parish for $48.1 million.
People who owned residential or camp properties in a mandatory evacuation zone around the sinkhole are eligible to have those properties bought out, which amounts to around 90 properties. Authorities said 67 property owners already sold their property to Texas Brine, and aren't eligible to take part in the settlement.
Property owners who qualify to take part in the settlement will be able to apply with a special master. That will likely take place near the end of the year.
The sinkhole appeared above a salt dome leased to Texas Brine LLC, and experts said a collapse within the dome led to the sinkhole's formation. People living in nearby Bayou Corne have been under a mandatory evacuation order since August 2012 and saw plummeting home values after the sinkhole formed.
A judge must still approve the preliminary agreement for the settlement to move forward, which is expected to happen within the next seven to ten days.