The Associated Press reported last month on a potentially far-reaching decision by a Mississippi federal court hearing Gulf Coast Hurricane Katrina-related insurance lawsuits:
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Tuesday that an insurance company's policies do not cover damage from flood waters or storm surge in a decision that could affect hundreds of upcoming cases related to property damage from Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter said Paul and Julie Leonard of Pascagoula could be compensated for damage that they could prove was caused by high winds....
[But] "[a]lmost all the damage to the Leonard residence is attributable to the incursion of water," Senter wrote in the 13-page decision.
Senter's ruling could set a precedent for hundreds of other court challenges to the insurance industry for denying billions of dollars in claims after the Aug. 29 hurricane ravaged the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi.