Katrina Victims Lose $1M Punitive-Damage Award

Legal News Updates Posted on

    The 5th Circuit threw out a $1 million punitive-damage award to a Mississippi couple who sued State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. for refusing to pay for the wind damage that destroyed their home before Hurricane Katrina. A three-judge panel ruled that jurors should not have been allowed to consider punitive damages in the case.

    Norman and Genevieve Broussard did not have flood insurance, but brought a claim under their State Farm homeowners' policy. The insurer denied their claim after a State Farm agent determined that their house had been "more damaged by flood than wind."

    The Broussards sued for breach of contract and bad faith, arguing that their home was destroyed by "tornadic" winds that swept through Mississippi before Katrina flooded the area.

    Jurors awarded the couple $2.5 million in punitive damages, which U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. reduced to $1 million.

    The federal appeals court remanded for a new trial, noting that "the question of whether the Broussards' property was first destroyed by wind or water remains an extremely close one," but added that State Farm's investigation of the claim does not merit punitive damages.

Legal News Media

Legal News Organization press is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Legal News Media as a service to the internet
community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

 

www.legal-news.org

 

American Bar Association – Start and Run a Law Firm

NewYorkStateBar.com – Starting a Law Firm

Lawyer Web Direct

CPA Website Designs