Judge Promises Quick Decision in Katrina Insurance Case

Carolyn King, one of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges who will rule on the case involving New Orleans homeowners and insurance companies, has promised a quick ruling. Although such rulings usually take months, Judge King has acknowledged that tens of thousands of people could be affected by the case, so a quick ruling is important.

In November, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled for policyholders who said that the insurance policy language excluding water damage from policies was ambiguous. He said that the policies didn’t distinguish between floods and rainfall that were acts of God, and other water damage caused by something like a broken levee. (I have a hard time seeing how a policyholder might think that a flood did not include water from a levee break. A flood is a flood, and flood damage was excluded.)

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