Louisiana Judge Awards Hurricane Katrina Victims $720,000 For Government Negligence
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Louisiana District Court Judge Stanwood Duval awarded nearly $720,000 to four New Orleans' homeowners and one business after finding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was liable for the negligent operation and maintenance of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet canal, also known as Mr. Go, that caused destruction of a natural barrier and created a storm surge.
Engineers knew of risks, but failed to act
The Hurricane Katrina lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by several New Orleans residents and businesses alleging that the government knew that the barrier could fail and produce a funnel effect that could increase the height of a storm's surge and create mass destruction – over 25 years ago. In fact, the government considered remedial action in the late 1960s, but ultimately rejected it due to budgetary concerns. The judge found that the government's lack of action was negligent and awarded plaintiffs $720,000.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and surrounding Gulf Coast areas in 2005 and was the costliest hurricane in U.S. History – causing over $100 billion in damage. Homeowners continue to fight with insurance companies over hurricane fraud, claim denials and damages.
Hurricane bad faith insurance lawsuits still pending
There's no denying that millions of American lives were forever changed after Hurricane Katrina. However, one of the saddest consequences involves insurance companies who delayed and denied valid homeowners insurance benefits to those who needed it most. Bad faith insurance lawsuits are still pending in many of the states hit by Katrina – even four years later. In fact, the Louisiana Attorney General filed a bad faith insurance practices lawsuit against the following insurance companies alleging that they conspired to deceive victims by providing lower damage estimates, offered lower claim payments and forced many homeowners to take them to court:
- Allstate Insurance Company
- State Farm Insurance Company
- Lafayette Insurance Company
- USAA Casualty Insurance Company
- Farmers Insurance Company
- Standard Fire Insurance Company
Homeowners who have experienced bad faith insurance practices can fight back. An experienced bad faith insurance lawyer can analyze your situation and determine whether you might have a lawsuit against your insurance company, what compensation you might be entitled to and explain the statute of limitations for filing such a lawsuit in your state.