In Monday's argument, Standard Fire seemed to draw support from liberal and conservative justices. Questioning Frederick, Justice Stephen Breyer said he worries that the promise of a $5 million limit "is just a loophole because it swallows up all of Congress's statute."
Justice Elena Kagan was the strongest voice in support of the homeowner, and she repeatedly challenged Theodore Boutrous Jr., the lawyer for the company. Kagan told Boutrous he should be asking Congress for help, not the court. "This is a kind of a jerry-rigged solution to get at a problem that Congress, in fact, did not address," Kagan said.
A decision is expected by late June.
The case is Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, 11-1450.