Appeals court upholds dismissal of Katrina suit

Published 12:06 am Sunday, October 11, 2009

A federal appeals court upholds the dismissal of a Mississippi homeowner’s lawsuit against his insurer over a Hurricane Katrina settlement offer.

After the 2005 storm reduced his Biloxi home to a slab, Christopher Wiley signed a settlement with State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. in 2006 for $80,235. More than a year later, he rejected a second settlement offer for $26,798 and sued the company for an alleged contract breach.

Wiley said he learned after the 2006 settlement that some of the damage to his home was caused by wind — and not storm surge, which was not covered by his policy.

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The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Wiley’s claims against State Farm were barred by the terms of his 2006 settlement.