Citizens Board Offers $103M to Settle Lawsuit

By MELINDA DESLATTE | February 24, 2012

Louisiana’s property insurer of last resort is offering nearly $103 million to settle disputes over its handling of claims after hurricanes Katrina and Rita more than six years ago.

The governing board of the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. agreed to the latest offer Wednesday, bumping up its previous settlement proposal of $80 million.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says he doesn’t think plaintiffs’ lawyers will agree to the new Citizens’ offer because it includes a $25 million cap on attorneys’ fees.

State courts have ruled Citizens moved too slowly on handling claims for the 2005 storms. A judgment against the company has grown to nearly $104 million with interest.

The settlement proposed Wednesday would cover that class-action judgment and a second set of Citizens customers who have pending claims.

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