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.
Another delay in vote to legalize marijuana in Louisiana, bill to be...
As Colonial Pipeline remains offline, 'spotted' fuel outages possible at La. gas...
As businesses struggle to hire workers, organization pushes for end to federal...
Woman shot after finding burglar outside her home; latest in rash of...
Unsealed documents detail disturbing rape allegations against Cynthia and Dennis Perkins
LSU pitcher Matt Beck gets his moment at the plate
Brusly baseball needs extra innings to win regional series with Jennings.
Southern Athletic Director Roman Banks talks about coaching search
Drew Brees and Sean Payton enjoy the Zurich Classic
Legendary Parkview coach Kenny Guillot passes away at 76