Scott Jordan

Landmark Katrina, Rita insurance cases in La. Supreme Court today

The insurance industry has every reason to be very, very nervous today. More than two years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana Supreme Court will hear two separate cases that could open the door for thousands of new lawsuits in Louisiana against insurance companies.

In the Rita-related case, Erath residents Mark and Barbara Landry lost their home, and their Citizens Property Insurance Corp. homeowners’ policy covered losses from wind and rain but not floods. The Katrina-related case makes a similar claim, as Joseph Sher claims that Lafayette Insurance Co. should have covered water damage caused by man-made engineering failures.

If the Louisiana Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs in either case, that will override previous federal rulings that sided with insurance companies. And that would be music to the ears of a lot of bitter Louisiana policyholders who feel their insurance companies let them down when they needed help the most.