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Katrina Trailer Makers Give $14.8M To ‘Victims’

From a grinning Reuters:

Thousands housed in trailers after Katrina may get payments

April 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – More than 20 mobile home manufacturers have agreed to pay $14.8 million to thousands of U.S. hurricane victims who said they were harmed by formaldehyde in the trailers.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who lived in trailers after being left homeless by Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita, filed the preliminary settlement in federal court in New Orleans on Friday, asking U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt to approve it.

For the record, formaldehyde even used to be used in permanent press clothes for decades. Somehow we survived.

The settlement could affect tens of thousands of people who lived in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast and left thousands homeless in August and September 2005.

Residents of the homes said they suffered from illnesses ranging from respiratory irritation to more serious problems, Justin Woods, attorney for the people who lived in them, said on Tuesday.

Did anyone force them to live in these trailers? Did they sign any ‘hold harmless’ releases? And where is the federal government? Shouldn’t they at least try to protect these private companies who were trying to help FEMA?

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that has a distinct, pungent smell and is used in the production of paper, resins and building materials such as plywood. Exposure over a short period can lead to respiratory irritations. Longer-term exposure can lead to cancer, the Centers for Disease Control says on its website.

Apparently, long term exposure to anything can lead to cancer. Even ingratitude.

Woods said the first lawsuit in the matter was filed in 2006 and in the following year, after hundreds of individual suits had stacked up in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi. Many related cases were consolidated in federal court in New Orleans.

The litigation turned into a maze of scientific expert testimony, which made the legal process extremely complicated, Woods said. "Considering the circumstances surrounding the litigation and its complexity, we believe that this is a fair outcome," he said

Yes, ‘if the case is complex, you must convict.’

Woods said the number of claims could range from 10,000 to 20,000, depending on how many people respond.

Like Pigford, there may (only) be "10,000 to 20,000" ‘victims’ now. But once this news gets out, that number will be ten times higher — for the next settlement.

Twenty-one trailer manufacturers have signed on to the agreement, in which they do not admit to fault

As if that will protect them from any future claims.

Still, all this just once again proves the old adage: ‘no good deed ever goes unpunished.’ But just wait and see how many companies step forward to help out after the next major hurricane.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Katrina Trailer Makers Give $14.8M To ‘Victims’”

  1. Astravogel

    “Cash on the barrelhead” and “You bought it, you own it.” would seem to be a
    good idea on any sales to the Federal Government, and a signed paper that
    you are not responsible for anything after it leaves your property; no, better
    make that “…since the formation of the Solar System.”

  2. Chrispbass

    “Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who lived in trailers after being left homeless by Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita, filed the preliminary settlement in federal court in New Orleans on Friday, asking U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt to approve it.”

    Lawyers lived in the trailers???

  3. P. Aaron

    Too bad they couldn’t have used those school buses.

  4. canary

    Formaldehyde to include dyes are in the Pink Panther insulation with the Green Smart star with tax deductions for consumers that buy over a certain amount.

    And there is another brand brags formaldehyde free without the star.

  5. GetBackJack

    Katrina, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Dollars that is.

    If you have a certain skin hue and talk ebonics.

  6. Under this President, the taxpayers are taking a beating while the Party of Food Stamps wants to raise our taxes to pay for this:

    http://news.investors.com/arti.....-obama.htm

  7. wirenut

    Any good parasite knows when to jump hosts, just before it becomes a corpse.
    Good one Steve! Ingatitude, haw!

  8. JohnMG

    Somebody correct my math. Fourteen point eight million ($14,800,000) divided by twenty thousand ($20,000) comes out to around $740 per plaintiff………..before the lawyers get their two-thirds comes out to……………..well hell, that ain’t much drug money at all!




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