Arbitration Set to Hear Hurricane Gustav Case Against FEMA

April 10, 2014

Livingston Parish officials have a date with a three-judge panel that will hear the parish’s arbitration case against FEMA for $59 million in unpaid cleanup costs from Hurricane Gustav.

Parish President Layton Ricks tells The Advocate the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals in Washington, D.C., will hear the dispute May 19-23.

The $59 million claim is the largest amount to-date sought from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through arbitration, the parish’s lead attorney, Hilary S. Cairnie, has said.

The parish’s legal team is still conducting interviews with potential witnesses in the case, Ricks said. The witness list must be finalized and submitted to the panel by May 5.

FEMA has denied the parish’s claims, instead alleging parish contractors performed ineligible work that the parish’s monitors then fraudulently submitted for reimbursement.

Parish officials have said FEMA’s own personnel on the ground praised the parish’s cleanup efforts, and the agency only later denied the claims based on “highly flawed and incorrect” analysis.

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