Anticipating a large number of lawsuits arising from Hurricane Ike, judges in Galveston County are working on ways to expedite the cases. Ike, which struck the Texas Gulf Coast at Galveston on September 13th, did extensive damage on the coast and displaces thousands from their homes and businesses.

Although few homeowners have sued their insurance companies so far, Judge David E. Garner has said that he expects that to change after the first of the year.

One possibility is appointment of a pretrial judge to oversee all pretrial proceedings in residential insurance cases. Assigning a pretrial judge would have the benefit of both expediting early proceedings and ensuring that pretrial rulings in the cases are consistent. The goal is to have a plan ready for the cases in January.

Read the AP story in the Houston Chronicle.