MS Supreme Court rules for homeowners in Katrina damage case

By WLOX Staff

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday handed down a major victory to homeowners with damage from Hurricane Katrina.

In the case Corban v. USAA Insurance, the justices said the burden of proof is on the insurance company to show that all Katrina damage was caused solely by water, and not by wind.  In cases when that cannot be done, the court said the insurance company must pay the limits of the homeowner's wind coverage.

The Corbans suffered a total loss of their Long Beach home in Katrina, and sued USAA a short time later.  A circuit court judge ruled against the Corbans, but Thursday's ruling from the Supreme Court overturns that decision.

USAA Spokesman Paul Berry said Thursday that his company is pleased with the ruling.

"The court confirmed USAA's approach to handling Katrina claims in Mississippi is correct," Berry said. "Although other insurers may have taken different approaches, USAA has always paid damage caused solely by wind. We're also pleased the court confirmed USAA's position and decades of insurance law that damage caused by storm surge is not covered."

The case will now go to trial. Click here to read the full opinion.

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