Jury rules against insurance company in first Hurricane Laura case heard in federal court
Published 6:32 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022
By Rita Lebleu
The first jury trial for a Hurricane Laura case resulted in a victory for the plaintiff, Joey Odem, owner of a commercial property near Petro Point in Lake Charles. Attorney Michael Cox of Cox Cox Filo Camel & Wilson in Lake Charles said the case is just one of the more than 3,000 Hurricane Laura claims filed in federal court.
“This case is important because it sends a message to the other insurance companies that they must follow Louisiana law and honor policy terms,” Cox said.
The verdict was read March 10 at the Lafayette Federal Courthouse. The Lake Charles Courthouse is undergoing repairs after Hurricane Laura made landfall here Aug. 27, 2020.
Odom was represented by Cox, Somer Brown and Roy Wygant.
“The jury found that the insurance company underpaid him for the loss and that they did pay late,” Cox said.
“The jury found that he was underpaid $200,000,” Cox said.
Since the jury found that Odom was underpaid, the insurance company had to pay penalties, attorney fees and court costs.
“I think some individuals continue to be reluctant because here in Southwest Louisiana, we are pull-yourself-up-by-your-