Short and sweet as, like Sop, I’m pressed for time this morning – but not so short that I can’t post what has been all too rare – good news from a court to the Plaintiff in a Katrina insurance case.
A couple awarded more than $900,000 last year in Jackson County’s first Hurricane Katrina insurance trial was granted $500,000 this month to compensate for legal costs and fees associated with the case, according to court documents.
At the final judgment hearing, special Judge Billy Bridges decided that Adm. James and Gladys Kemp Lisanby should receive an additional $302,920.44 for lawyers’ fees and $211,069.41 in litigation expenses.
That brought to about $1.42 million their total award from their insurance company, United States Automobile Association.
For readers interested in background information, Slabbed has a number of posts on the case as this site search indicates. Now, for the rest of the story:
In June 2008, a jury agreed that the Lisanbys deserved $909,671 in compensatory damages after a two-week trial in Jackson County Circuit Court.
The Lisanbys sued USAA seeking policy limits for their losses, plus punitive damages. The Lisanbys accused the insurer of deliberately underpaying the claim filed on their Beach Boulevard home in Pascagoula.
After Katrina struck in August 2005, USAA paid the Lisanbys almost $45,000 for structural and contents damage to the second floor. Policy limits for their USAA policy were $883,000.
The Lisanbys received policy limits of $350,000 for flood damage.
The final judgment mentions that USAA did not challenge any item of the amount claimed, although the defense did object to awarding expenses in general on the grounds that no punitive damages were involved.
At the conclusion of the trial last year, the jury was not allowed to hear punitive damage arguments as originally planned, and Bridges himself denied punitive damages.
The plaintiffs responded by filing an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court, requesting a punitive damages hearing.
No update on the status of the appeal available at this time.