First Trial Over 'Toxic' Trailers Begins

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A jury will soon begin hearing testimony in the first trial over whether Gulf Coast storm victims were exposed to potentially dangerous fumes while living in government-issued trailers.

Jury selection started Monday for the lawsuit against trailer maker Gulf Stream Coach Inc.

The lawsuit was filed by New Orleans resident Alana Alexander and her son, Christopher Cooper.

However, the federal government won't be on trial. Judge Kurt Engelhardt ruled last month that a two-year statute of limitations bars Cooper's claims against the government. Lawyers say they plan to appeal that ruling.

Hundreds of consolidated lawsuits claim FEMA trailers exposed residents to "elevated levels" of formaldehyde, which can cause breathing problems and is classified as a carcinogen.


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