Settlement of $14.8 million presented in Katrina trailer formaldehyde class action

Kyle Barnett Apr. 25, 2012, 11:21am

NEW ORLEANS – Attorneys representing claimants in a class action lawsuit filed against 21 travel trailer manufacturers claim they have to come to a $14.8 million agreement.

A settlement request was filed earlier in the month with the U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt at the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The travel trailers were provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused severe damage to homes across the south in 2005. Shortly after occupying the trailers, residents began complaining of nausea and headaches that were later linked to high levels of formaldehyde used in the manufacture of the trailers.

Residents numbering in the tens of thousands who resided in the trailers through Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama may receive payments under the proposed agreement.

San Antonio-based Watts, Guerra & Craft asserts that FEMA did not properly acknowledge the elevated levels of the possibly carcinogenic substance until February 2008 and that the settlement only covers certain manufacturers and does not involve FEMA as a defendant.

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