Monday, February 25, 2008

Two Louisiana Insurance Lawsuits To Be Heard

The state's high court will hear its first Hurricane Katrina insurance payment case Tuesday, and later in the day, will hear its first Hurricane Rita insurance case. And if the Supreme Court rules in favor of policyholders in either case, it would trump federal court rulings in similar cases that have gone in favor of insurance companies.

The most significant case for New Orleans area residents is Joseph Sher's lawsuit against Lafayette Insurance Co. The 92-year-old Holocaust survivor claims Lafayette's homeowner's insurance policy -- along with most others used by the industry -- should have covered the water that flowed into his Uptown fourplex because of the failure of man-made flood-control structures.

The other case originated with southwest Louisiana residents Mark and Barbara Landry, who claim the 108-year-old "valued policy" law forces Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which covered them for wind but not flood, to pay the full value of their totaled home, even though storm surge was responsible for some of the damage.

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