The Associated Press reports:

A federal judge ruled against an insurance company Thursday in a Hurricane Katrina damage case that may have implications for hundreds of other homeowner lawsuits against insurers who refused to cover billions of dollars in damage from the storm's surge.

U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. ruled that State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. is liable for $223,292 in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to a Biloxi couple's home, but said a jury must decide whether to award millions of dollars more in punitive damages.

There are still settlement negotiations underway regarding a separate class action suit. The article says it is not clear how this latest ruling will affect those negotiations.