According to the Associated Press, Louisiana homeowners affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are close to reaching a major legal settlement with the state-operated Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Attorney Jennifer Jones, representing the homeowners, told the AP that the company is aiming to settle with 165 policyholders from Cameron Parish, 200 miles west of New Orleans, and that terms may be released later this week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think our deal, in essence, has been made,Ã¢â‚¬Â Jones told the AP. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We’re just finalizing the numbers.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The AP notes that Citizens still faces about 2,000 suits from policyholders related to the hurricane damage, as well as 5,000 open policy claims. While a mass insurance settlement was reached last month in neighboring Mississippi between State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. and its policyholders, the new deal is the first major settlement in the state of Louisiana although many legal actions have been settled individually out of court. Jones is also pursuing legal claims against State Farm in Louisiana.
In the State Farm settlement in Mississippi, the company agreed to an initial payment of roughly $80 million, which would address the existing 600-plus lawsuits.