Tidal surge issue up for review in Miss. SC

John O'Brien Apr. 18, 2008, 4:10pm

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi's Supreme Court can have its say in the debate over wind and water damage caused by 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Margaret and Magruder Corban are appealing from their Harrison County Circuit Court lawsuit against United Services Automobile Association insurance agency. The case is being presided over by Judge Lisa Dodson.

Like many policyholders, the Corbans are upset with the lack of coverage they received after Katrina hit. Lawsuits allege some insurance companies intentionally misrepresented the amount of damage done by wind (covered by the policies) and water (covered by a federal flood program).

According to a report in the Sun Herald of Biloxi, the Corbans received only $39,972 from USAA even though their Long Beach home was insured for more than $1 million.

USAA says the policy's anti-concurrent clause keeps it from paying for wind damage when a following tidal surge contributes to the damage.

"The court finds that such review will resolve issues of general importance in the administration of justice relative to critical legal issues present in Hurricane Katrina litigation," Dodson wrote, according to the report.

It is the first time the state Supreme Court has been asked to interpret the policy in such a case.

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