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Scott Kappes
Scott Kappes
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Denied Hurricane Ike Damage Claims Spawn Lawsuit Against FEMA

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Although Hurricane season has come and gone, the evidence of the damage done by the 2008 hurricane season will be with us for time. Residents of Houston and Galveston are still working to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Ike devastated the area in mid-September, while residents of the Rio Grande Valley are still trying to recover from the damage done by Hurricane Dolly in July. Among those affected by Hurricane Dolly are 13 families that have now filed a lawsuit against the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). They charge that FEMA has failed to offer adequate assistance to low income residents affected by the storm.

On Wednesday the Texas Supreme Court heard testimony from residents of the Rio Grande Valley concerning the Texas Access to Justice Commission’s work with low income families in the weeks and months following Hurricane Dolly’s landfall. Attorneys for the plaintiffs charge that FEMA is denying damage claims to certain residents based on their economic standing. FEMA has rejected numerous claims, asserting that damages to the home were pre-existing and not a result of the storm.

It may take an actually trial to settle this matter; however, no court date has been set at this time.