FEMA seeks immunity from Katrina trailer suits

FEMA trailer outside hurricane-ravaged home

FEMA trailer outside hurricane-ravaged home

Today attorneys arguing on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency will ask a federal court to dismiss the agency from lawsuits alleging that trailers provided for hurricane Katrina survivors exposed them to dangerous fumes.

The suits claim that the trailers provided to people living in Gulf coast states in 2005 contained high levels of formaldehyde, which can cause breathing problems and is believed to be carcinogenic.

But FEMA contends that it relied on the manufacturer of the trailers to furnish a “safe, habitable, functional product” to people who lost their homes.

“It is well-established that the (government) is only liable in such situations if it supervised and directed day-to-day activities of its contractors, which did not occur in this case,” stated court papers.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys contend that it is premature to release FEMA from the litigation. More here.

Photo by Infrogmation.

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