Katrina survivor, mother of three shocked with settlement check

A Hurricane Katrina survivor and mother of three says she is shocked by the settlement check she received in the mail 12 years after the storm that uprooted her family and forced her to start over in Houston.

HOUSTON - People who survived Hurricane Katrina feel like they're getting hit again 12 years later with settlement checks from a class action lawsuit.

A mother who rebuilt her life in Houston, couldn't believe it when she got hers for only $52.82 dollars.

The checks were mailed out July 31, 2017 and 125,000 people from New Orleans are receiving them. It’s all part of a $20 million dollar settlement with local governing bodies, called levee boards.

It may sound like a big number, but Veronica Bowman says her cut was shocking.

It's an answer the mom has waited years for.

"I was like, are you serious?" said Bowman, an evacuee.

The check from Hurricane Katrina read more like a slap in the face.

"I didn't know what to think, I thought it was a joke,” said Bowman.

Memories of boarding a bus 12 years ago with her sons ages 5,6 and 7 still brings tears to her eyes.

"My son asked me, 'Momma, where are we going?' and I said, 'Well, I don't know, because they didn't tell us yet...'” said Bowman.

She and her family ended up in Houston.

"I love Houston, I didn't ask to come down here but I had to, I had no choice,” she said.

However, this mom did have a choice to make the most of it.

She raised three sons, one was even featured as KHOU's "Athlete of the Week." Her son, Rakeem Boyd was a stand out on the field for Stratford High and went on to play college ball.

"Every since we came here, for Katrina, they've been playing sports,” said Bowman.

Eventually, the home-healthcare provider and Uber driver joined a class action lawsuit, she thought it would help her family get back on their feet.

"You tell us not to call, not to appeal, so who do we talk to?" she asked.

However, a $52 dollar outcome is a far cry from peace.

"It's not about the color, it's about us, we deserve respect, we deserve much more respect out here,” said Bowman.

The New Orleans attorney, Joseph M. Bruno, who handled the lawsuit told KHOU 11 each claim was paid out based on an impact survey each person filled out.

Most people did receive settlements between $50 to $150 dollars. A few people did receive compensation in the thousands.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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