The ruling, by U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter, Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi, denied a motion by plaintiffs Elmer and Alexa Buente for partial summary judgment in their suit demanding that Allstate cover storm-surge damage from Katrina. It sounds wholly unremarkable as a matter of insurance-law precedent, but must come as a jolt to those who've been taken in by the (itself somewhat hurricane-like) spin put out in the press by some hyperactive Gulf Coast lawyers, such as Richard Scruggs, who represents the Buentes (Chicago Tribune; Insurance Journal). After the ruling, Mississippi Attorney General and Scruggs ally Jim Hood proceeded to compare insurance companies to "Nazis locking arms, coming at those people down there on the coast", a sentiment which proved a mite controversial (AP/Insurance Journal).
Federal judge: Katrina flood exclusion "valid and enforceable"
Center for Legal Policy at the