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Hurricane Victims Gain Court Victory

5-27-2005:

Hurricane victims who are part of a class-action lawsuit against state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. notched a victory in Leon County Circuit Court on Thursday, when a judge ruled that Citizens should pay the full amount of their policy, regardless of whether wind or storm surge destroyed their homes.

The ruling by Circuit Judge P. Kevin Davey "is the right ruling," said Stuart Michelson, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who worked on the class-action case with Tallahassee attorney Scott Maddox.

Michelson handled a similar case stemming from 1999's Hurricane Irene. That case wen to the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach, which ruled that if a house is deemed a total loss, insurers are obligated by the state's valued policy law to pay the insurance policy's limits.

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