Attorney Says Broussards Set The Bar For Insurance Settlements - - The News for South Mississippi

Attorney Says Broussards Set The Bar For Insurance Settlements

When the Broussard family of Biloxi successfully sued State Farm, the case made national headlines. Their attorney, Jack Denton, says there are plenty of other, similar cases he is now working on, and he's confident he has a good chance at winning them.

"The subsequent decisions that Judge Senter has made since Broussard has given everybody, both the plaintiff and the defendant, a very good idea of how these cases should be resolved," says Denton.

In the Broussard case Denton is referring to, Judge L.T. Senter ruled that if an insurance company tries to deny a claim because of an exclusion in the policy, it is up to the insurance company to prove the exclusion applies. Denton says that's not easy.

"If they can't prove that their exclusion applies, then they have to pay the claim. That's the benefit of the deal," says Denton.

Denton insists it's a deal that's helping settle insurance claims quickly. Since March of this year he has worked on five slab cases. All were against State Farm, and all were settled out of court. The latest happened just weeks ago when a homeowner sued State Farm for bad faith.

"Obviously, settling the case is much more advantageous to everybody involved, especially our clients, those who are having to go without," Denton said.

Settlement or not, Denton says he hopes that through all of this, homeowners have learned a valuable lesson about the business of insurance.

"That's something that we as a community need to get really proactive and engaged in. Not just settling for what the insurance decides they want to give us. If we're not happy with our options, we need to create our own," says Denton.

The Broussards were originally awarded $2.5 million, but a judge later reduced that amount to $1 million. 

Since Hurricane Katrina, thousands of homeowners in Louisiana and Mississippi have sued their insurance companies for not paying on their policies.

by Elise Roberts

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