Covering Louisiana

Oct 25, 2012 7:13 AM by AP/CS

Teacher-plaintiff in Katrina suit dead at 61

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A teacher who became a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit over the firing of thousands of New Orleans school employees after Hurricane Katrina has died.

Gwendolyn Ridgley died last week at age 61, according to her lawyer.

A state judge in New Orleans agreed earlier this year that New Orleans school employees were wrongfully fired after Hurricane Katrina scattered the populations and shut down the city and its schools. That ruling is being appealed.

Ridgley, who was retired, said in June that she felt vindicated by the ruling.

Attorney Willie Zanders called Ridgley "an unselfish fighter for justice." Funeral services were held Saturday in her home town of New Roads.

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