With the class approved, a judge in Orleans Parish awarded residents of Louisiana $1,000 each from Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance for how they handled claims after Hurricane Katrina. The Berniard Law Firm’s founder, Jeff Berniard, was part of the litigation and continued his record of helping residents get the justice they deserve when insurance companies act in bad faith of the law.
Judge approves Citizens class action settlement in Orleans Parish
by Rebecca Mowbray, The Times-Picayune
Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese ruled Thursday that the settlement brokered in a class action lawsuit against Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. should stand, finalizing a deal to award $1,000 apiece to policyholders whose 2005 hurricane claims were handled or paid slowly.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys — Madro Bandaries, Gregory DiLeo, Jeffrey Berniard and Ray Orrill — also net a tidy sum. They will be paid $5 million for their work, or about 38 percent of what the estimated 13,000 class action members will be paid.
“We’re very pleased with the court’s order, and we’re very pleased with the court’s reasons for judgment,” Bandaries said of the long-awaited decision.
Citizens also said it was eager to move forward.
“We’re happy to put this behind us. We think it’s in the best interests of Citizens policyholders and the state, because it’s costing a lot of money in litigation,” said John Wortman, who took over the state-sponsored insurer in 2007. “We’re prepared to begin making payments.”
More information on the case and what it means for residents of the Gulf Coast is available here.