BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A third of the residents evacuated because of an Assumption Parish sinkhole have accepted buyout offers from Texas Brine Co.
Company spokesman Sonny Cranch says that as of noon Sunday, 33 of 91 people have taken out-of-court settlements in advance of a 5:30 p.m. Monday deadline.
Residents and Houston-based Texas Brine have until then, under a judge's order, to reach agreements. After that, residents will need lawyers to negotiate with the company in a lawsuit pending in New Orleans federal court.
Cranch says the company would like to extend the deadline for negotiations without a lawyer.
About 350 Bayou Corne residents have faced evacuation orders since the salt dome cavern collapsed almost 11 months ago. Texas Brine has made settlement offers to 103 residents who haven't yet hired a lawyer.