Federal Court Declines To Find Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction For Flood Lawsuits

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled last week that federal courts do not have exclusive jurisdiction over lawsuits against insurers who write federal flood insurance policies. The case is Dugdale v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 2006 WL 335628 (February 14, 2006).
In the case, a woman whose home had been damaged by a hurricane in 2003 sued an insurer who sold her a federal flood insurance policy. All flood insurance is underwritten by the federal government, and most is obtained directly from the government, although the government allows some private insurers to sell federal policies through a “Write Your Own,” or WYO, program. There is a split in the U.S. circuit courts of appeal whether federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over WYO lawsuits, in that they are in essence suits over federal monetary responsibilities. The circuit in which the deciding court sat, the Fourth Circuit, has not settled the issue, and the District Court returned the case to state court.

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One Response to Federal Court Declines To Find Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction For Flood Lawsuits

  1. patrick malloy

    I see I am not the only one with an insurance company saying a flood is not a flood unless they define it as a flood.six months of jerkin around.Anyone know a good lawyer on long island for this?