New Orleans/Louisiana Recovery

On June 1, 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a notice to Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Region (GOMR) lease and pipeline right-of-way (ROW) holders on reporting hurricane and tropical storm effects. Specifically, the recent notice, designated NTL No. 2011-G01(1), requires four reports, as appropriate:

  • Evacuation

During the past few years, the Louisiana Legislature has adopted many “green” initiatives as part of climate and energy policies. The state has placed a strong emphasis on increasing both renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. The following is a list of some of these important initiatives:

  • The Louisiana Renewable Energy Development Act allows Grid Tied Net Metering systems throughout the state, which allows electric utility customers, who wish to install a net metering facility, to reduce their monthly electricity bill by using electricity that is generated from solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, or biomass resources. See La. R.S. 51:3061-51:3063 (2003).

Continue Reading State of the State: Louisiana Government Active in Green Initiatives

Throughout 2004–2007 a housing boom along with a series of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico combined to create a shortage of drywall in the United States.  Needing drywall to build the homes that were much in demand, suppliers turned abroad. Chinese manufacturers stepped in, providing cheap and readily available material.  This influx of Chinese drywall was concentrated in Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi; the states most affected by Hurricanes Wilma, Katrina, and Rita.  Since 2006, it has been estimated by some sources that more than 550 million pounds of drywall have been imported from China.  There are reports that some 100,000 homes could possibly be affected nationwide. Continue Reading What does the Transfer of Chinese Drywall Cases by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Mean?

The Louisiana Legislature has adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 185, authored by Representative Tim Burns.  The resolution urges and requests that the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Deptartment of Insurance, in consultation with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, investigate the health risks associated with living in homes that contain drywall imported

June marks the beginning of Hurricane Season and should serve as a reminder to review your personal and business property insurance coverage. The effect of recent Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast generally and Louisiana specifically have been significant with respect to both damages and the insurance covering those damages.
Continue Reading Insurance and Hurricanes

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, homeowners filing flood insurance claims under the National Flood Insurance Program’s (“NFIP’s”) Standard Flood Insurance Policy (“SFIP”) should exercise extreme caution to avoid running afoul of the SFIP’s Proof of Loss requirement.

SFIP policies require that insureds asserting a claim file a Proof of Loss within 60 days, subject to such extensions as FEMA may approve, listing “the actual cash value of each damaged item of insured property, the amount of damage sustained, and the amount claimed as due under the policy to cover the loss.”

Courts have consistently enforced this requirement in an extremely strict and severe manner, holding that failure to timely file a Proof of Loss complying with the regulatory requirements is a valid basis for denying an insured’s claim. If the policyholder does not strictly comply with the Proof of Loss requirement, the policyholder may not file suit to recover under its SFIP. That the insured’s losses are covered under the policy is irrelevant. The conduct of the insurer/adjuster in adjusting the claim is irrelevant. Timely filing a proper proof of loss is essential to filing suit under the SFIP.Continue Reading The National Flood Insurance Program’s S.F.I.P. Proof of Loss Requirement: A Trap for the Unwary

The New Orleans Times Picayune posted a story to their web site on July 3, 2007 at 7:45 PM stating that the Corps of Engineers has formally recommended to Congress that the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet (“MR-GO”) be closed. MR-GO is a 60 mile long shipping channel running from the Louisiana coast to the Industrial Canal in New Orleans. Construction on MR-GO started in 1958 and was completed in 1968. The canal was designed to be 36 feet deep and 500 feet wide.
Continue Reading Corps Recommends Closing MR-GO

Throughout the Corps of Engineers’ history of building public works projects, they have sought to protect or enhance property values and economic interests of various groups. Often fixing one problem causes another. Sometimes those new problems are later referred to as “unintended consequences.”  Many times those supposed “unintended consequences” are known in advance. Nevertheless, these economic shifts often occur without warning or compensation to the people imperiled or damaged. This is the power and burden that goes with building large public works projects. It also presents the legal question of when should a property owner whose interests are imperiled or damaged by public works projects be compensated for such an economic shift.
Continue Reading Corps of Engineers Increases French Quarter Flood Risk

Corps of Engineers Releases 100 Year Flood Maps for New Orleans Metro Area

On Wednesday June 20, 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers released its long anticipated 100 year flood maps for various parts of the New Orleans metro area. While the maps depict some improvement over the flood risk that existed before Hurricane Katrina,

On May 30, 2007, United States District Judge Stanwood R Duval dismissed a class action lawsuit by residents of South Louisiana claiming damages from Hurricane Katrina. The court ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies with the federal government before filing their Federal Tort Claims Act suit. The lawsuit accused the