Court: Army Corps of Engineers Liable for Katrina Damage

In a decision handed down on November 18, 2009 that is being called “groundbreaking,” U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr. found in favor of four plaintiffs and awarded damages totaling $719,00.00 against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The suit was started as there was an alleged negligence by the Corps in building and maintaining the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet canal. This outlet is also called “Mr. Go” by local New Orleans residents.

The Dollar value sounds nice, but there were a total of four plaintiffs, each collecting between US$ 100,000 and US$300,000. But what did the plaintiffs actually accomplish here? Each of the four may now rebuilt their houses – or at least parts of them. It, however, opens the doors to successful claims by their neighbors.

The consequence again with this kind of litigation: some may benefit from a negligence, but will this law suit prevent futur desasters from happening? And finally: the Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command, funded by the Government. Does this seem like a double dipping of the plaintiffs, once from “regular” Federal funds and once from litigation?


Best regards
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs