Judge Senter Hears About Proposed Class Actions In Katrina Cases

From what I can gather from this story, Judge Senter’s hearing on proposed class actions in Guice v. State Farm and Woullard v. State Farm went pretty much as you might expect.  The courtroom was packed — looking at the dockets in these cases the last few days, there were a huge number of requests for various interested parties to be heard — and some were for and some were against. 

Some did not want to be included in the proposed Guice class action, which concerns hundreds of people who have sued State Farm when payments were denied because their homes were destroyed by Katrina storm surge.  They want to proceed to trial with their claims for covered wind damage.  An attorney representing State Farm also questioned whether the highly individualized nature of factual disputes about wind damage to each home means Senter’s rulings from an earlier case, Broussard v. State Farm, could not be applied across the board to the proposed class.

About the proposed Woullard class action — which would be immediately settled with some 35,000 previously adjusted claims being reopened in a new State Farm review process — the story doesn’t say much.  Here’s a pdf, which I’ve provided before, of State Farm’s brief in support of the class action, which will give you all the details you can stand about how the settlement would proceed.

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