Saturday, December 28, 2013

Well that's all over with, then

Most of the remaining Katrina flood litigation has been dismissed.
The clean-up ruling by U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr., filed Dec. 20,
marks the end of an unprecedented series of class-action lawsuits aimed at collecting damages from insurance companies or the federal government that could have totaled billions of dollars.

The final ruling was not unexpected. In earlier decisions Duval found the Army Corps of Engineers was immune from damages caused by failures of levees and floodwalls they designed and built, or from failure to maintain the rapidly eroding Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a now-closed shipping channel that helped decimate wetlands east of St. Bernard Parish.

In a ruling in April involving one of those cases, Duval pointed out that he had presided "over this hydra-like 'Katrina Umbrella' litigation for almost eight years. One central theme has been painfully obvious throughout this entire process," he wrote. "Many of the levees protecting New Orleans and the surrounding area were tragically flawed. ...

"However, lamentably, there has been no judicial relief for the hundreds of thousands of people and tens of thousands of businesses impacted," he said. "The Flood Control Act of 1928 as interpreted over the years gives the United States Army Corps of Engineers virtually absolute immunity, no matter how negligent it might have been in designing and overseeing the construction of the levees."
Can we copy Garret Graves and Bobby Jindal on this so we don't have go through it all again? 

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