On Thursday, a federal judge give his final approval to a $42.6 million class-action settlement between companies that made and installed government-issued trailers after hurricanes in 2005 and storm victims who made claims that they were exposed to hazardous fumes while living in the shelters. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt ruled in favor of the hurricane victims, after hearing from attorneys who brokered a deal resolving nearly all remaining court claims over elevated levels of formaldehyde in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency following Katrina and Rita. Approximately 55,000 residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas will be eligible for shares of the $37.5 million paid by more than two dozen manufacturers. Also, the victims can get shares of a separate $5.1 million settlement with FEMA contractors who installed and maintained the units.

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