Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Louisiana decision on flood damage

KatrinaIn Sher v. Lafayette Ins. Co., 2007-C-2441 & 2007-C-2443 (La. April 8, 2008), the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that an insurance company was not liable for water damage caused by the failure of levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Homeowner Joseph Sher's policy excluded "flood" damage. Sher argued that the term flood was ambiguous, insofar as it might be limited to strictly "natural" events, as opposed to all instances of damage by water. Reversing a lower court decision, the Supreme Court upheld the policy exception according to the ordinary usage of the term flood and accordingly reduced Sher's award to recovery for damage from wind, lost rent, and other losses sustained during Katrina.

More coverage via Jurist Paper Chase and Associated Press.

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