Mississippi Senator Trent Lott has said over and over that frivolous lawsuits are destroying American business, and that most lawsuits against insurance companies should be limited, if not banned completely.
Some of his prior quotes on the issue of tort reform include these gems:
"The Democrats seem to think that the answer is a lawsuit. Sue everybody." July 20, 2001
"I'm among many Mississippi citizens who believe tort reform is needed." May 8, 2002
"If their answer to everything is more lawsuits, then yes, that's a problem, because I certainly don't support that." August 2, 2002
"It's sue, sue, sue... That's not the answer." August 4, 2001
So what would you expect him to do if his Katrina-damaged house wasn't fixed when and how he demands? I would expect him to set an example. Avoid litigation. Take what the insurance company gives him.
Last week, Senator Lott filed suit, hiring a [gasp] trial attorney to represent him. What does he have to say about lawsuits now?
"I'm interested in getting results that will help a lot of people, and I'm one of them. ... This was an important part of my life savings, and I just don't think that the response was one that I could accept."
The issue is whether a wind-driven storm surge is "flooding." Most English-speaking folks would say that "flooding" is a condition that occurs when your place fills up with water. The insurance companies contend they don't have to pay for water damage at homes of their policyholders who didn't shell out the extra bucks for flood insurance. The homeowners say that the fact that water is up to the roof doesn't necessarily make it a flood. Oh, it's something like a flood, but not actually a flood, per se.
Lott would certainly call that claim frivolous if he didn't need to win such an argument in order to get someone else to pay the cost of rebuilding his flattened beachfront house. I suspect that if Lott's house was on the Texas gulf coast, still standing, and insurance companies were complaining about these lawsuits, and how they were going to go so broke that they would barely have money left over to donate to Republican candidates for Senate, Lott would probably be leading the charge to pass new legislation against such wacky lawsuits.
I guess that goes to show you that the only consistent definition of what constitutes a frivolous lawsuit is "a lawsuit that some other guy filed."
You can read the complaint for yourself here: Lott et al v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company et al, 1:05-cv-00671-LG-RHW, 12/15/2005.