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Monday, 23 July 2012 06:09
Louisiana Citizens Property Katrina class-action over, $104M judgment sent to sheriff
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fat-lady-sings1NEW ORLEANS. Jul. 23, 2012 – You know the old saying, "It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. 

Well, today the fat lady sang out for thousands of plaintiffs in Louisiana who had sued Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in what has been a very protracted and arduous court process for a class action arising out of Hurricane Katrina claims. 

 

 However, the last song might not have been sung in the case which could be resolved one way with even further litigation.  

After the $104 million judgment (including interest) funds were wired to the sheriff, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Fred Herman, responded to a question posed by Bayoubuzz:  

"Today, after a lengthy and tortuous legal fight which took nearly 7 years to the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall in South Louisiana and the Citizens Insurance failed to timely adjust its policyholder losses, the funds have been delivered to pay the policyholders”. 

Herman also said, "We still have several thousands of claims they refuse to negotiate.  We will be filing against them within the month"

While paying the judgment plus interest in the class action,  LA Citizens Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Robertson, sent out a statement reassuring policyholders that the company had more than adequate cash in reserve but saying that to an extent, the company is still at risk. 

The CEO of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation reassured policyholders that the company has more than adequate cash reserves to operate smoothly even after the payment of today’s $104 million class action judgment. “LA Citizens is a viable organization with sufficient operating funds to pay claims for the foreseeable future. We have a balance of $100-110 million in cash reserves,” said LA Citizens Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Robertson.

Robertson did clarify, however, that a huge lump payment to policyholders from a major storm in 2012 could put enormous pressure on the company. “Of course, a major Katrina-type storm could cause a problem if it happens this year before we have time to replenish our cash reserves, causing the possibility of an assessment that would affect the entire state,” he said.

Since 2008, LA Citizens has instituted management systems and a structure that has strengthened the entire organization. “This judgment reflects the aftermath of Katrina and Rita before the company was restructured to raise accountability standards. In 2009, Hurricane Gustav generated more than 50,000 claims. There are fewer than 100 claims that remain open. There were no class action lawsuits,” he said.

 

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