And the storm rages on

Hurricane Katrina came and went almost six years ago, but the litigation it spawned is nowhere near complete. And more surprisingly, there are new Katrina-related lawsuits still being filed daily.

In Louisiana, many lawsuits are subject to one year liberative prescription. What that means, effectively, is that after an accident or storm or other event that damages a person, that person has one year to bring a lawsuit to make him whole, either against the person who did him harm or against his insurer or both. Normally, if the person doesn’t bring his lawsuit within the one-year window, he can never bring it.

But after Katrina, the legislature extended the normal prescriptive period because of the huge number of insurance claims and the general disorder left in the storm’s wake. The legislature extended the deadline from August 29, 2006, to September 1, 2007, unless a longer period was provided by law or contract.

But a recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision has effectively extended that deadline indefinitely. Continue reading