A federal appeals board has upheld a lower court decision in favor of a Texas condominium association, which believes it is entitled to damages for boat slips that were destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.
The August 2017 hurricane caused unprecedented rainfall and flooding in Texas, according to Friday's ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in Playa Vista Conroe v. Insurance Co. of the West.
To prevent Lake Conroe Dam from flooding and failing, the San Jacinto River Authority released 79,141 cubic feet of water per second from the dam, which was almost twice the size of Niagara Falls. The 22 boat gorges from Montgomery, Texas-based Playa Vista were destroyed, the judges said.
The cooperative's insurer, San Diego-based Insurance Co. in the west, a unit of ICW Group Holdings Inc., denied coverage on the grounds its policy did not cover floods caused by a hurricane or tropical storm, and the association filed a lawsuit against it. The U.S. District Court in Houston ruled that Playa Vista was entitled to $ 1
The decision was upheld by a unanimous panel of three judges, which stated that three potential exceptions the insurer did not point to
The insurer also claimed after the district court made a final judgment that because Playa Vista , The San Jacinto River Authority, "triggered a previously mentioned exception" for actions by a government agency.
"It's way too little too late", was mentioned. If the insurer "wanted to rely on the exclusion from the state body, it was obliged to raise it (at the latest) in a summary judgment," the decision said, confirming the lower court.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment.