On June 16, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. granted a request by insurers to strike class allegations asserted in In re Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation. (Click here for a copy of the Order). Judge Duval reasoned that the claims required individualized fact-specific inquiries which made them inappropriate for class certification. This decision could have significant implications for the insurance community in that it effectively restarts the time in which individual plaintiffs can file suit against their insurers for their Katrina-related coverage claims. As explained here, Louisiana residents had until August 29, 2007 to file lawsuits arising out of Katrina-related damage on property claims but the filing of the class action tolled the running of the deadline for the class members.
In addition to striking the class allegations, Judge Duval dismissed with prejudice those claims based upon alleged misinterpretations of flood exclusion policies and those claims based upon Louisiana Valued Policy law.