495 F.3d 191 (2007)
- Even if the insureds could prove the levees were negligently designed, constructed, or maintained and that the breaches were due to that negligence, the flood exclusions unambiguously precluded recovery.
- One encyclopedia included the inundation of water resulting from the bursting of a levee in the definition of flood.
- Other definitions indicated that when a body of water overflowed its normal boundaries and inundated an area of land that was normally dry, it was a flood.
- That was precisely what occurred in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
- A levee's failure due to negligent design, construction, or maintenance did not change the character of the water escaping through the breach; the result was a flood.
- The flood exclusions were unambiguous, thus, a reasonable policyholder's expectations did not have to be considered.
- Hurricane-deductible endorsements only altered the deductible for damage caused by a hurricane; they did not extend coverage for floods or restrict flood exclusions.
- The peril of negligence did not act, apart from flood, to bring about damage to the insureds' properties.
- Consequently, the efficient-proximate-cause doctrine was inapplicable.
The district court's orders concluding that the water damage was not excluded by the flood exclusions were vacated and the cases were remanded.
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