Saturday, September 27, 2008


Neighbor testifies to wind damage

Thursday, June 19,
2008By amber CRAIG

PASCAGOULA -- The neighbour of a couple suing their home
insurance company testified Wednesday that personal effects of
Hurricane Katrina's high winds damaged his place and
caused him to fear for his safety before H2O ever began
standing in the streets.

In Glenda Jackson County Circuit Court, Steve Loper testified that
he stayed at his place on American Capital Avenue in Pascagoula the
day Katrina made landfall while the remainder of his family
stayed with relatives.

Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Jesse James W. and Gladys Kemp Lisanby are
suing their military coverage company, USAA, in Jackson
County's first Katrina coverage trial, which opened

The Lisanbys have got accused the insurance company of deliberately
underpaying the claim filed on their two-story Beach
Boulevard home.

The couple's lawyers have got got called expert witnessers to
the base who have testified that sustained wind velocities in
excess of 100 miles per hour were recorded in the country before water
began rising near the Lisanbys' home.

The company have argued it should not be held responsible
for amends to the first flooring and postulates that the
first-floor amends were caused by water, not wind.

USAA paid the Lisanby household $45,000 for a hallway that was
damaged when a door flew unfastened during the storm. The family
had an $883,000 policy with USAA.

The couple received $350,000 from the National Flood
Insurance Program for inundation H2O damages.

Loper told the tribunal about place harm he had as a
result of the high winds that started about 6 a.m., before
water started implosion therapy the streets. Loper was living about a
block North of the Lisanbys' waterfront home.

His John Ford F-150 pickup motortruck truck slid across his driveway, and
he watched a "black spot," which turned out to be
an airborne 10- by 10- by 19-foot wooden beam, clang through
his presence window and knocking out his kitchen cabinets and an
interior wall, Loper said.

"How difficult was the wind blowing?" asked Tom
Thrash, the Lisanbys' attorney.

"Hard," Loper replied. "Hard enough to scare

It was the wind, Loper said, and not H2O that caused him
to fear for his life. He called his married woman and immature daughter
after the radio beam flew into his house and talked to them for
what he thought would be the last time.

"It's a difficult thing to state an 8-year-old that
your dada is going to decease today," Loper said, his voice
cracking with emotion.

During cross examination, Loper became visibly frustrated
and repeatedly said he felt his replies were trying to be
used against him by defence lawyer British Shilling Goza.

Goza used Loper's estimations of his home's lot
elevation and that of his first flooring from his deposition to
say that the H2O degree likely rose to almost 24 feet above
sea degree at Loper's home. Loper said that his numbers
were only gauges and that he could not see the
Lisanbys' place at all during the storm.

"I'm not going to give any numbers, because
y'all are trying to utilize them against me," Loper
told Goza.

Goza asked Loper if he'd said during a conversation
with Jesse James Lisanby and a USAA applied scientist that the water
started rising as early as 6 a.m. near his home. Loper said
the violent storm caused confusion at the clip and that he was

"See, none of us were there," Goza said.

"No, none of you were there," Loper said. "None of you were confused. None of you lost almost
three-quarters of what you owned and almost lost your life. I have got no ground to lie."

The trial goes on today and could endure through the end of
next week.

Reporter Amber Craig can be reached at Oregon 228-934-1428.

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