A real jury already has spoken, but lawyers for hundreds of Gulf Coast storm victims want to hold what would essentially be a pair of mock trials for claims that government-issued trailers exposed occupants to dangerous fumes.
Plaintiffs' attorneys asked a judge to order two non-binding "summary jury trials" for the litigation after a federal jury on Sept. 24 rejected a New Orleans family's claims that elevated levels of formaldehyde in their FEMA trailer jeopardized their health.
A plaintiffs' lawyer says summary jury trials can promote a mass settlement, but attorneys for trailer manufacturer Keystone RV Company are opposed to the proposal. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt didn't immediately rule on the request.
Summary jury trials typically last less than a day and cost much less than real trials.