BREAKING: Corban v USAA settles

Anita Lee has all the scoop as the wind water debate rages in the commentary to her story. I suspect, given the related Mississippi Supreme Court decision, USAA paid up big. (Our exhaustive coverage of Corban can be found by clicking here.) Sadly for the public, we will not get to see Mr Haney lose another big case for USAA like Lisanby. Congratulations to the Corbans and their legal team of Judy Guice, Buddy Gunn, Flip Phillips and Chris Van Cleave. Rather than quote the news story lets visit with Anita’s blog for her take on the news:

The landmark Katrina case, Corban vs. USAA, has settled on the usual “undisclosed terms.”

The case established that wind damage is covered even if water contributes to the loss, a fact insurance companies tried to fight after Hurricane Katrina.

The Mississippi Supreme Court decision came in October 2009, far too late to help countless policyholders who settled under an erroneous federal ruling that came down much earlier.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could have certified the question to Mississippi’s Supreme Court, which has say over state-governed insurance contracts, but chose not to.

The federal legal system, in fact, has let down policyholders in more ways than one. Magistrate Judge Robert Walker in particular has allowed insurance companies to seal many documents they have been compelled to turn over to policyholders during trial preparation.

By God Anita isn’t just whistling Dixie either as she certainly gets what has happened here since the storm:

When I first started looking at insurance lawsuits across the country after Katrina, I wondered how insurance companies could continue the same claims denial practices over and over, from state to state.

After watching the Katrina legal system grind along, I wonder no more. Time and secrecy are weapons insurance companies have become expert at wielding.

IMHO the fight over sealing these court records is in its infancy. Stay tuned and great job Anita!


2 thoughts on “BREAKING: Corban v USAA settles”

  1. “Seals” of the legal kind, in my opinion, have made our courts a circus more appropriate for “seals” of the animal kind than policyholders slabbed by their insurer – and Lee has proven to be the “ringmaster”.

    Way to go, Anita!

  2. Dead on about the 5th Circuit. IMO, what the 5th Circuit and the federal court in general did to homeowners was criminal. The outright shucking of one’s job as a federal judge to interpret state law in accordance with STATE LAW PRECEDENT is a crime. The federal judiciary’s activisim as exhibited by its wilful refusal to follow well established state law precedent relative to all-risks homeowner’s insurance contracts to the detriment of insureds is a monumental economic travesty. Millions of dollars were lost because of settlements forced down insureds’ throats by a federal judiciary upset that its work load went up in the wake of the worst natural disaster in American history.

    Once again, I hope non-lawyers, who are not bound by certain ethical constraints, will one day write about the harm inflicted on innocent people by the ideological federal judiciary in Louisiana and Mississippi.

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