UPDATE: This is somewhat more complicated than I have time to explain here at present, but who appealed from the Fifth Circuit decision were Xavier University and 68 plaintiffs who wanted to have a class action that was called Chehardy. Some other plaintiffs who had been consolidated in In Re Katrina Canal Breaches case did not appeal — the Vanderbrook proposed class action plaintiffs and maybe there are some more who I’ve forgotten about. The plaintiffs had asked the Fifth Circuit to allow the Louisiana state courts to rule on the fl;ood exclusion issues in the case, the Fifth Circuit refused and that stood up with the Supreme Court’s denial of cert.
Incidentally, one of the cases in the Louisiana court system is Sher v. Lafayette, where a division of the Louisiana Court of Appeals found a flood exclusion ambiguous. Here’s a post I wrote on that. That decision has been appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
The original post is below.
The case that no one really knows what to call it, In Re Katrina Canal Breaches, was denied cert. by the U.S. Supreme Court today. The case, dealing with flooding in New Orleans, had been appealed from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the district court judge and upheld flood exclusions of numerous insurers as valid and unambiguous. It’s always a long shot to get the Supreme Court to take up an issue involving state law interpretation of insurance contracts.
Here’s a breaking news story on developments. I got a kick out of the story’s dumb lede:
The Supreme Court has refused to offer help to Hurricane Katrina victims who want their insurance companies to pay for flood damage to their homes and businesses.
As if the choice in a case is simply going where your sympathies lie, and when the court decided not to take the appeal, the halls rang with evil laughter and mocking statements such as this: "We will extend no help to Katrina victims because we love to see them suffer and we love to support our evil twins, the insurance companies who steal from them."
If you want to see more background on the case, I’ve written a lot on the case all the way from the district court to the Fifth Circuit. Just type in "In Re Katrina Canal Breaches." Also try "Vanderbrook," there might be a post or two with only that name.