Published Online: November 11, 2014
Published in Print: November 12, 2014, as New Orleans Not Liable for Post-Katrina Job Losses

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New Orleans Not Liable for Post-Katrina Job Losses

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A Louisiana Supreme Court panel has overturned a lower-court class action stemming from the dismissal of teachers after Hurricane Katrina, a decision that for now spares the New Orleans district and the state of Louisiana from having to pay up to $1.5 billion in back pay.

About 7,500 teachers lost their jobs after Katrina hit the city in 2005, and nearly all the Orleans Parish schools were turned over to the state-run Recovery School District and reopened as charter schools.

Teachers had already won some $7 million under prior litigation. As other claims came in, the state and the district argued that such suits weren't valid under a state statute that prohibits additional litigation on the same issue after a judgment has been rendered. The state supreme court ruled that there were no exceptional circumstances to allow the plaintiffs to proceed further, as well as no due process violations.

Vol. 34, Issue 12, Page 4

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