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Marine Awarded $3.5 Million in Damages From Military Insurer

Lawyers for a Marine captain deployed in Iraq say a San Diego jury has awarded their client $3.5 million in punitive damages from a servicemembers' insurance company.

Capt. John Colombero sued after insurer USAA denied a 2004 claim for water damage to his house in Oceanside, south of the Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton.

Tuesday's verdict followed a civil trial in which jurors found the company unreasonably denied Colombero's claim and stalled payment for two years while he was repeatedly deployed to Iraq.

Last week, the jury awarded Colombero $50,000 in emotional-distress damages, along with $84,000 for his house repairs.

A call by The Associated Press seeking comment from a USAA spokesman was not immediately returned.

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