Louisiana Citizens Insurance Company offers $80 million to settle fines over claim handling delays from Katrina and Rita hurricanes

There are numerous articles out this week regarding Louisiana Citizens Insurance company and attempts between all parties involved in settlement negotiations.

This article states that yesterday Louisiana Citizens Insurance Company offered $80 million to resolve this class action suit, Geraldine R. Oubre et al v. Louisiana Citizens in the 34th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish , with approximately 18,000 policyholders while approximately 6,500 other claims still are pending at the carrier:

www.houmatoday.com/article/20120209/WIRE/120209535/0/entertainment02

The next article from NOLA.com  of 1/31/12 explains the US Supreme Court refused to delay the judgment against Citizens of Louisiana:

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/01/high_court_refuses_to_delay_ci.html

This next article from 2/3/12 discusses the $6 million fees to seize the assets to the sherriff’s office following the Supreme Court 1/31/12 decision:

http://legalnewsgroup.com/2012/02/03/louisiana-citizens-goes-to-u-s-supreme-court/5040

In a different class action titled CHALONA v. LOUISIANA CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION No. 2008-CA-0257. Fourth Circuit, the Louisiana Supreme Court had granted class action to this group as well. For complete details you can view this article which explains how the two class actions may overlap but says in part:

“While it is possible that some individuals could be included as members of both the Oubre class and the instant class, the relief sought in the two cases is not the same.   Thus, a judgment in the Oubre lawsuit would not have the effect of res judicata in the instant suit.   Although the defined classes in the instant case and the Oubre case may overlap, we do not find that the court was manifestly erroneous in denying LCPIC’s lis pendens exception.”

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/la-court-of-appeal/1003260.html

I’ll add articles to this blog as I can locate updated information regarding the settlement of these cases. If you can provide links to court documents or pdf of same, let me know and I’ll add them to this topic. We’d also appreciate any legal counsel who would like to interpret this information into layman’s terms for the rest of us and what impact this will have on other state run insurance companies in the future.

All articles located do say that these fees will be passed on  as assessments to insurance carriers doing business in the state and thus ultimately on to policyholders.

#Update 2/11- Here’s another article discussing the settlement negotiations and criticism for the negotiations being made public:

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/02/10/talks-to-settle-louisiana-citizens-class-action-be?t=regulation-legislation

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