Following settlement negotiations described as “hard fought,” recreational vehicle manufacturers and victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita have reached a significant milestone in their protracted legal battle.
As reported by the Elkhart Truth, several RV companies, many based in Elkhart County, Ind., and attorneys representing Gulf Coast residents filed a proposed settlement agreement which, if approved, could bring an end to countless lawsuits stemming from concerns over formaldehyde. The 220-page document was submitted to the U.S. District Court of Eastern Louisiana Friday and became available Monday.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers working on behalf of the displaced storm victims are pleased with the terms of the proposed settlement. The agreement states, “After years of litigating this case, including the exchange of thousands of documents, the taking of over 100 depositions, extensive motion practice, and participation in a months-long and hard fought negotiation process, the (Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee) has concluded the proposed settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable for the Class.”
Defendants and plaintiffs are asking the court to give preliminary approval to the settlement offer. This will then allow residents to submit a claim or opt-out of the agreement and ultimately lead the way to the court granting or denying final approval at a fairness hearing scheduled for Aug. 1.