A Mississippi federal judge has issued a ruling stronglyfavorable to the position held by insurers that hurricane waterdamage is excluded from coverage.

The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge L.T. SenterJr. in Gulfport, Miss. is the latest in the case brought by Elmerand Alexa Buente, who are contesting Allstate Property Casualty'srejection of their Hurricane Katrina damage claim for their home inHarrison County, Miss.

The Buentes, represented by attorney Richard Scruggs, havecontended that their wind-damage policy should cover destructioncaused by storm surge waters driven by hurricane gusts.

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