Brad Pitt is in the spotlight again, and the reason is something other than promoting a new movie. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several victims of Hurricane Katrina are taking action against Pitt and his charitable organization, Make It Right. In an effort to assist those devastatingly impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Pitt’s foundation built homes to replace the structures lost in the hurricane. According to the lawsuit, the homes constructed by the organization are quickly deteriorating. Although many victims are left to live in homes that are apparently unlivable, Brad Pitt is denouncing all responsibility and involvement in the alleged neglect. Continue reading
An 11-year dispute finally reached a resolution in the amount of $13.3 million. The lawsuit against the city of New Orleans was filed in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Seventeen plaintiffs in the suit brought allegations against the city, claiming it was responsible for “wrongful deaths and injuries, deprivation of civil rights and lost wages caused by instances of police brutality.” The three major complaints referenced in the lawsuit include a police-related shooting, resulting in the amputation of one woman’s arm and the deaths of two men on the Danziger Bridge; the cover-up of the shooting of a gentleman named Henry Glover; and the beating and death of a gentleman named Raymond Robair, by a police officer. Read More
Years ago, Hurricane Sandy struck everywhere on the East Coast of the US, from Florida all the way to Maine. Many homes, companies, and families were uprooted, including vacation spots along the cost and even in New York City. A Greek restaurant in the TriBeCa district called Thalassa has recently filed a lawsuit against their insurance provider, who denied their claim that the storm disrupted their business. A main substation in downtown Manhattan, powered by a company called Con Edison, experienced problems due to the surging waters. The Phoenix Insurance Co. states that although the business was closed for 11 days, Thalassa’s insurance does not cover this kind of disruption. Read more
Just more than a year after Hurricane Irene mangled the eastern seaboard, Hurricane Sandy has reared her ugly head threatening to repeat the devastation. The entire east coast of the United States is scrambling for shelter as the monster hybrid storm moves it’s way north faster than expected. This “Frankenstorm” is over 1,000 miles wide with maximum sustained winds of 90mph. Millions of people have evacuated their homes to move farther inland. Even NYC is experiencing mandatory evacuations, leaving the city looking like a scene from I Am Legend.
In the weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, thousands of displaced families were given trailers to live in by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These trailers, while welcome shelter for whole communities wracked by natural disaster, turned out to leak formaldehyde in the air at levels up to eleven times the EPA recommended exposure limit. Formaldehyde is a fundamental and inexpensive chemical used in all sorts of building materials. My guess is that the trailers’ small, compact design, combined with poor ventilation and cheap formaldehyde-based components (plywood, carpeting, insulation — even paint) caused the uptick in formaldehyde levels. Also, they aren’t meant to be inhabited for such long periods — some refugees still live in their FEMA trailers today. Nevertheless, despite assurances from FEMA that the risk of formaldehyde was overstated, many refugees began to exhibit persistent flu-like symptoms, breathing difficulties, and eye irritation. The CDC conducted a study and found that 42% of the trailer homes had higher levels than what they recommend for a mere 15-minute exposure. Now imagine sleeping all night in that kind of environment.
Today, following lawsuits alleging fault in providing such poison-inflated housing, more than twenty manufacturers agreed to pay out $14.8 million in settlement to thousands of derelict mobile home denizens. Hopefully this will be some good news for those unfortunate people who are definitely in want of some.