In re Katrina Canal Land Breaches Litigation
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
628 F.3d 185 (2010)
Residents of the New Orleans area (residents) (plaintiffs) filed multiple lawsuits against various entities, including levee districts, their boards, and their insurers (districts) (defendants), for bodily harm and property damage caused by the levee and floodwall failures following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The cases were consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and some of the residents moved for certification of a limited-fund mandatory class under Rule 23(b)(1)(B) for settlement purposes and to approve a settlement would award the class $21 million in exchange for a release of claims against the districts. Per the settlement, the financial award reflected the maximum available insurance limits, and the $21 million would be distributed among class members by a special master. Class counsel waived attorney’s fees but was permitted to pursue enhanced costs. The settlement did not indicate the amount of attorney’s costs or expenses, but there was the record reflected that the settlement may result in a cy pres distribution of funds. The district court preliminarily certified the settlement class over the objection of several residents and ultimately certified the class and approved the settlement after a fairness hearing. The opposing residents appealed the class certification and settlement approval.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)
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