MRGO Katrina Flooding Decision Could Benefit Thousands

Some Hurricane Katrina flooding victims in Louisiana could be eligible for compensation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, thanks to a recent decision by a federal judge in New Orleans.

On November 18, 2009, Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, issued a ruling finding the Army Corps of Engineers’ negligent failure to maintain and operate the <"">MRGO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet) properly was a substantial cause for the fatal breaching of the Reach 2 Levee and the subsequent catastrophic flooding of the St. Bernard Polder following Hurricane Katrina. Judge Duval awarded over $719,000 to four different sets of MRGO plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs had claimed that the poor design and the Corps’ failure to maintain MRGO had attributed to the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. The Corps had argued that the federal Flood Control Act shielded the government from liability for defective flood-control projects.

While Judge Duval did agree that the Army Corps of Engineers was not liable for flood damage stemming from the design of MRGO, he did rule that the Corps could be held liable for its negligent failure to properly maintain and operate the channel. The judge then went on to rule that the Corp’s failure to provide timely foreshore protection doomed the channel to grow to three times its design width and destroyed the banks which would have help to protect the levee.

According to the law firm of <"">Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, if Judge Duval’s landmark ruling is upheld on appeal, thousands of individuals and entities whose property was damaged or destroyed, or who suffered personal injury in Hurricane Katrina flooding could be eligible for compensation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As we’ve reported previously, other attorneys for MRGO Katrina flooding plaintiffs have said they would be seeking a global settlement with the U.S. to cover residents and businesses impacted by the Corps’ MRGO negligence.

Parker Waichman Alonso LLP and its Co-Counsels are offering free consultations to individuals and entities who were victims of the negligent maintenance of MRGO, have not already retained an attorney, and who previously filed SF Form 95 claims with the Army Corps of Engineers on or before Aug. 29, 2007. This offer applies specifically to entities and individuals whose property was located within the following Louisiana zip codes: 70129, 70117, 70092, 70085, 70075, 70043, 70032.

To arrange for a free consultation, perspective claimants can visit Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).

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