Expanded deal over FEMA trailer fumes worth $37.5M

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An expanded class-action settlement agreement calls for around two dozen companies that manufactured trailers distributed by the government after hurricanes Katrina and Rita to pay a total of $37.5 million to resolve claims that Gulf Coast residents were exposed to dangerous fumes while living in them.

The amount is disclosed in a federal court filing Wednesday. About $22.7 million of the total would be paid by four manufacturers that agreed Monday to participate in the expanded settlement proposal.

Last month, a larger group of manufacturers agreed to pay about $14.8 million to resolve claims over elevated formaldehyde levels in trailers issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the 2005 hurricanes.

In a separate but related deal, four FEMA contractors that installed or maintained trailers agreed to pay $5 million.

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