NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana judge has ruled that thousands of New Orleans school employees were wrongfully fired after Hurricane Katrina shut down the city and its schools in 2005.
Judge Ethel Simms Julien's ruling on Wednesday awards more than $1 million to seven people who filed the class-action suit against the New Orleans school board and the state. It clears the way for more damages to be awarded to an estimated 7,000 others.
The decision is subject to appeal. It was unclear whether school officials will appeal.
The ruling comes almost seven years after levee breaches during the storm caused 80 percent of the city to flood and schools were closed for months.