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Judge Approves $37.5M FEMA Trailer Settlement

Posted Sep 27, 2012 4:25 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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A $37.5 million class-action settlement involving FEMA trailers with high formaldehyde levels was approved today by a New Orleans federal judge.

Approximately 55,000 individuals, who lost their homes during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, will be eligible for the payment, the Associated Press reports. Government tests performed on the trailers found that on average the structures had formaldehyde levels five times higher than what people are generally exposed to in modern homes, according to the AP.

More than two dozen trailer manufacturers were named as defendants in the action. Gerald Meunier, who represents the plaintiffs, told the AP that the settlement gives FEMA trailer residents a “somewhat modest” compensation. Jim Percy, who represents the trailer manufacturers, said the cases would have had to be tried individually if they didn’t not reach a settlement.

The formaldehyde levels were announced in 2008. According to the AP, as early as 2006, people living in the trailers complained of headaches, nosebleeds and difficulty breathing.

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