Monday, December 04, 2006

Some Katrina Litigation News

As you might have heard, Hurricane Katrina caused a lot of damage. The insurance companies, they who had incredibly profitably years of late, decided to exclude damage caused by water during the storm. Consequently, a lot of people's claims were denied. A number of them have sued, though some like the Paul and Julie Leondard lost at trial.

However, a recent E.D. of Louisiana decision gives hope to some. Apparently Judge Stanwood R. Duval refused to dismiss a case. He found that while exclusions of the policy could be construed to exclude damage from water caused by the storm, the standard exclusion language does not cover damage as a result of negligent maintained or defectively constructed levees or dikes. Therefore, the plaintiffs now need to prove that there neglience with regard to the construction or maintainenance of the man-made water barriers.

Whether they will be succesful at proving that remains to be seen. Hopefully they will.

Either way, the insurance companies in the case have stated they will be appealing the ruling.

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