updated 10/3/2008 8:09:21 PM ET 2008-10-04T00:09:21

The government is not immune from lawsuits claiming many Gulf Coast hurricane victims were exposed to potentially dangerous fumes while living in trailers the government provided, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The ruling said there is evidence that the Federal Emergency Management Agency delayed its response to concerns about formaldehyde levels in its trailers due to liability concerns. The preservative can cause breathing problems and is classified as a carcinogen.

Lawyers for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita have accused the agency of negligence.

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