The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and the 14th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Calcasieu have adopted a Case Management Order (CMO) that allowed for a streamlined litigation process for insurance claims that arise due to property damage resulting from Hurricanes Laura and/or Delta. The CMO helps produce a just and equitable resolution, enabling the local community to repair or rebuild their homes and businesses after the devastation of the 2020 Hurricane Season. Most Hurricane Laura or Delta property loss claims that give rise to a lawsuit would be subject to this CMO, which provides for an expedited procedural schedule.
The CMO was adopted by the Western District after the Court reviewed the Disaster Litigation Initial Discovery Disaster Protocols recommended by a study committee and adopted by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
The CMO allows for resolution and settlement of lawsuits outside the courthouse walls. Once the answer to your claim is received, the court sets deadlines for initial disclosures, settlement negotiations, and formal mediation, in a matter of weeks or a few months, not years.
After receiving Answer or other responsive pleading:
- 45 days from the date the defendant files responsive pleadings or 20 days from an order denying a timely motion to remand.
Upon the exchange of Initial Disclosures:
- Within 15 days. Counsel for both parties shall meet to confer and discuss a mutually convenient time, date, and manner for conference.
- Within 30 days, the informal settlement conference must be conducted.
- Counsel for both parties must have full authority to resolve the from their clients.
If the initial settlement conference fails to reach a resolution:
- Case is set for formal mediation.
- Both parties complete a Mediation Stipulation form.
If formal mediation fails, the case is set for trial.
Recently, the first Hurricane Laura claim went to trial, and the jury found in favor of a Lake Charles businessman after the jury found that the insurance company acted in bad faith and did not pay timely or fulfill its contractual obligations. Consequently, the insurer must now pay additional penalties, attorney fees, and court costs.
If your home or business is dealing with the fallout of a denied, delayed, or underpaid property insurance claim or your insurer has acted in bad faith, call the Chad T. Wilson Law Firm today. We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements for our Louisiana clients that have had difficulty recovering from their insurance companies for claims related to Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Our expert insurance litigation attorneys know how insurance companies operate and the best way to maximize your settlement.