Ruling in Miss. Katrina insurance case appealed

Published 8:05 pm Friday, December 22, 2006

A Pascagoula couple, who lost a lawsuit against an insurance company over damages from Hurricane Katrina, has filed notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court in Gulfport.

Court officials said the notice of appeal was filed Nov. 30 by the attorney for Paul and Julie Leonard. The appeal will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

A judge had ruled in August that damage from wind-driven water is not covered in policies issued by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Leonard’s insurance carrier.

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The Leonards said Katrina caused about $130,253 damage to their Pascagoula home. They said $47,365 in damage was caused by wind. Nationwide paid the couple $1,661, saying that storm surge caused the rest of the damage.

The Leonards’ case was the first of hundreds filed by homeowners who argued that their insurance policies were either too vague regarding wind vs. water debates, or that flood damages were covered in their policies.