One firm responsible for 33 of 39 hurricane suits filed in Orleans Parish in 2011

By Alejandro de los Rios | May 31, 2011


Records at the Orleans Parish Civil District Court indicate that the Chalmette firm of Sidney Torres III has filed 33 of the 39 hurricane-related lawsuits in 2011.

The majority of the lawsuits were filed between May 20 and May 31. Eight lawsuits were filed under Torres' name and another 25 were filed under David Jarrell, an attorney in Torres' firm.

A majority of the cases indicate that the plaintiffs were former members of a proposed federal class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The federal lawsuit came as a result of the flooding allegedly caused when a barge in the Industrial Canal in New Orleans East was left loose and crashed into the canal wall during hurricane Katrina.

The breach of the canal walls resulted in over 14,000 properties being flooded in the neighborhood.

In May 2009, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval denied a plaintiff's motion for class certification for the plaintiffs affected by the Industrial Canal flood.

Some of the lawsuits filed by Torres' firm in Orleans Parish contain language designed for multiple plaintiffs, even if only one plaintiff is named.

In one case, Keith Reiley vs Underwriters at Lloyds, London, Reiley is repeatedly referenced as "each plaintiff named herein." A majority of the cases filed by Torres' firm contained similar language.

All of the lawsuits state that the plaintiff seeks less than $75,000 in damages.

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