A Pascagoula couple will argue in a
federal appeals court on Aug. 6 that Nationwide Mutual Insurance
should be forced to cover the storm surge damage to their home from
Paul and Julie Leonard are appealing a 2006 decision by U.S.
District Judge L.T. Senter Jr.
Senter ruled that the Gulf Coast couple can't collect damages
from storm surge caused by Katrina because Nationwide's policies do
not cover wind-driven water damage.
Senter said the Leonards could be compensated for damage that
they could prove was caused by high winds.
Senter's ruling, if unchallenged, would have set a precedent for
hundreds of other lawsuits against the insurance industry, which
has denied billions of dollars in claims after the Aug. 29, 2005
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans set oral
arguments for Aug. 6, only a few weeks before the second
anniversary of Katrina.