However, less I be misunderstood, it’s important to start this post recognizing the work of plaintiffs’ lawyers following Hurricane Katrina. Working largely on a contingency fee basis, some at great personal sacrifice, they opened the door to justice for many who would have otherwise had both their damage claim and justice denied. Admittedly, some eventually made a lot of money,particularly those who also invested a lot of money; others not so much; and. a few probably lost money; but, pay day, if it came at all, didn’t come until after a case had been decided or settled and then some.
Even then, the result did not always fully compensate plaintiffs for their loss or plaintiffs’ attorneys for their cost; but, individual cases are a different matter from a mass claim action – cases where a win can be a loss for everyone but the lead attorneys representing the class or mass of plaintiffs, cases such as the one subject to this recent 5th Circuit opinion.
A federal appeals court…rejected a $21 million settlement of Hurricane Katrina damage claims that some residents had complained was unfair, and that one group said would have entitled residents and businesses to as little as $40 each.
“Hope is not an investment strategy;” yet, many were left with nothing else following Hurricane Katrina – $40, however, would hardly buy gas to drive a “chevy to the levee” and jump in. Such hopeless results, no doubt, are behind the concerns SLABBED readers have expressed about the oil spill litigation before Judge Barbier. Continue reading “Bum deal – a fresh look at the “common benefits” of mass claims”