PASCAGOULA, Miss., Sept. 15 -LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Attorney…

PASCAGOULA, Miss., Sept. 15 -LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Attorney Richard F. Scruggs, known for his successful litigation against tobacco companies, announced today that he is launching major litigation against State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide and other Property and Casualty Insurance Companies on behalf of Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast residents who have suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The litigation will seek to compel the insurance companies to honor insurance obligations that the companies are seeking to reduce or eliminate through loopholes and deceptively written policy exclusions. These homeowner policies clearly provide for comprehensive coverage for any and all hurricane damage. The insurance companies are attempting to minimize their hurricane coverage by intentionally misclassifying the hurricane’s destruction as mere flooding. The litigation led by Dick Scruggs will be designed to recover the damages due to policyholders under their policies. It is part of a coordinated legal effort involving attorneys throughout the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama region.

Mr. Scruggs said, “The intentional effort by these insurance companies to avoid meeting their policy obligations is devastation on top of devastation. What this means for these communities is no ability to rebuild homes, further substantial financial hardship and subversion of the area’s economic redevelopment. As a community member, neighbor and victim of the hurricane, I simply cannot sit by and allow this needless exploitation of those of us who live and work in the Gulf Coast region.”

The live press conference will begin at 12 pm CDST on Friday, September 16, 2005 at 1025 Beach Boulevard (at the intersection of Pascagoula Street) in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Following the live press conference, a follow-up telephonically enabled press conference will be held at 1 pm CDT at the Nelson House, 4836 Main Street in Moss Point, Mississippi (enter at back of the building on Morris Street). Callers may dial-in to participate on the conference call at (800) 946-0705. A replay of the press conference will be available beginning at 4 pm CDT until midnight on October 15th by calling (719) 457-0820 or (888) 203-1112 for 30 days. The passcode is 8416307.

Homeowners that would like to join the litigation should call The Scruggs Hurricane Katrina Hotline at 1-888-844-5055. The phone number will be activated no later than Saturday, September 17, 2005.

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