Order keeps attorney fees in $189M TWIA settlement under wraps

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 30, 2010, 4:25am

GALVESTON - A state district judge issued a temporary restraining order on Sept. 27 that keeps the amount paid to the attorneys involved in a massive Texas Windstorm Insurance Association settlement mum.

In the order, Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss writes that attorneys' fees in a $189 million Hurricane Ike settlement are to remain under wraps for the time being.

The document's release comes on the heels of a political tug-of-war between Texas Republicans and Democrats, tort reformers, and trial lawyers over the record compensation.

State Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is among those who seek information on the confidential figures, according to Texas Watchdog.

Taylor has been reported as saying that the release of the amount is important because the TWIA is a state agency supported by tax dollars as well as those who buy windstorm insurance not available in the private sector.

Texas Tribune reports that Taylor opposes a certain amount of money paid to attorneys, stating it should go toward home repairs.

The fees will be disclosed at a future full hearing.

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