State of Louisiana Agrees to Back $101.5 Million Settlement Legislation
This news update provides our clients and the general public with an update on the $101.5 million settlement agreement and the State’s intent to back legislation.
The Interstate 12 Flood in Tangipahoa Parish
For over 20 years, Scandurro & Layrisson has been acting as court-appointed counsel on behalf of a class of over a thousand plaintiffs whose homes, farms and businesses were devastated by massive flooding caused by the faulty design of portions of Interstate 12 in Tangipahoa Parish. Our partner Jean-Paul (J.P.) Layrisson has acted as trial attorney and media spokesperson for this case. JP and the legal team he’s been working with obtained a judgment for the class and have remained committed and diligent in successfully litigating this case through every tier of the Louisiana court system. With many years of accumulated interest, the original $93 million award has grown to over $350 million.
Justice Delayed is Often Justice Denied
High profile cases with large judgements like the one awarded in this case tend to be hotly contested, long-lasting and very expensive to see through. This is especially true where the defendant is a public body like the State, who cannot be ordered or forced by a judge to pay judgments of this type. The court judgment is sometimes not the end, but only the beginning. The State must be persuaded that despite all of its other priorities, paying the judgment is the right thing to do, and that its longstanding debts should be part of its budget. And as with so many political and economic decisions, legislative and executive elected officials often disagreed about what to do with this judgment, or whether to do anything at all. The people who lost so much in the flood have gotten understandably frustrated and disheartened with every passing year that their claims go unpaid, and a number of them have passed away. As the old adage goes, “justice delayed is often justice denied.”
But we refused to give up. Recently, the State of Louisiana agreed to back legislation calling for the payment of the $101.5 million settlement over the next two years via a settlement agreement, as reported in The Advocate on Mar 24, 2022. JP is quoted in this article as follows: “We’re just trying to get it done. It’s a compromise because there is no doubt that the state owes the money, the Supreme Court says so. But there’s also no doubt that the state can’t afford it.”
“We’re just trying to get it done. It’s a compromise because there is no doubt that the state owes the money, the Supreme Court says so. But there’s also no doubt that the state can’t afford it.” – Jean-Paul (J.P.) Layrisson.
Justice can often be a long time coming. Attorneys with steadfast resolve and a commitment to stand by their clients will always keep working towards it, however long it takes.