Plaintiffs in Big Bay suit to see compensation for claims soon

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - Property owners who sued developers of the Big Bay Lake subdivision near Purvis last year may soon be receiving compensation for damages they suffered after a dam break 7 years ago. Friday afternoon, Circuit Judge Anthony Mozingo approved recommendations from a court-ordered special master, detailing how settlement money would be distributed.

More than 100 property owners had sued developers after a dam breech in March of 2004. Some 3 billion gallons of water flowed out of the 1,100 acre lake, flooding and destroying dozens of homes.

A $1 million settlement was reached during a trial on the Gulf Coast in 2010. Developers agreed to add an additional $100,000, to be paid by March of 2012.

In all, homeowners turned in more than $4.8 million in damages, but were paid only $608,000 under the settlement. Attorney fees amounted to just over $200,000.

Today's ruling clears the way for payments to be made, pending appeals from any of the plaintiff's attorneys.

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