Federal judge in Louisiana approves hurricane lawsuit plan
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A federal judge in western Louisiana has approved a plan on how to settle thousands of lawsuits expected to be filed against insurance companies over damage from a pair of hurricanes that hit the region six weeks apart.
Insurance companies and the parties who sue them will have to share information with each other as quickly as possible and then meet — online or on the phone if they agree — within a month of the deadline to share information and discuss a possible settlement, U.S. District Judge James D. Cain Jr. wrote in his order.
If the two sides can’t agree on a settlement, the case will go to mediation, Cain wrote in the order obtained by The American Press.
Anyone involved in any hurricane damage case who wants to opt out of the process will have to file motions with a judge.
The process is similar to what judges in Texas used after Hurricane Harvey and New York used after Superstorm Sandy.
Hurricane Laura came ashore near Cameron Parish on Aug. 27, and Hurricane Delta hit the same area six weeks later. The storms are estimated to have done more than $14 billion in damage to west Louisiana and eastern Texas.
Hurricane Laura also heavily damaged the Edwin F. Hunter Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Lake Charles, which may have to be torn down and rebuilt, Cain said.
“The devastation in the parishes of the Lake Charles Division, including to the courthouse itself, is anticipated to interfere with the timely handling of this litigation,” Cain wrote in his order.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Hurricane Ian likely to affect Louisiana homeowner's insurance rates
Denham Springs fall festival brings fun to community, improvements to city's historic...
High schools being asked to play some football games on Thursdays due...
DOTD now says I-10 lane closures will last 14 months; previously said...
Overnight closures planned on I-10, I-110 in Baton Rouge this weekend
Fans' Choice Player of the Week 4: Central's Glen Cage
Plaquemine's Jayden Rogers leading the Green Devils through music
Southeastern knocks off #4 Incarnate Word on Eli Sawyer game winning touchdown...
McKinley High's homecoming football game canceled after bench-clearing brawl broke out between...
LSU Baseball team volunteers with Baton Rouge's Miracle League