A homeowner who claims Allstate Indemnity Co. failed to properly or promptly pay his damage claim after Hurricane Katrina took the witness stand in federal court Monday, kicking off testimony in the first trial for one of the several thousand such Louisiana lawsuits.

Lawrence Tomlinson and his wife Elizabeth, accuse the Northbrook, Ill.-based company of bad faith and say the company underpaid them for wind damage that tore holes in their roof and let water rain into their home in the New Orleans suburb of Marrero.