Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Lawyer
One of the five (5) deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 in the form of Hurricane Katrina. It was the sixth (6th) strongest hurricane ever recorded. Indeed, the most severe loss of life and property damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. Eventually 80% of the city became flooded and also large tracts of neighboring parishes, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. However, the tragic loss of life, and property could have been avoided.
Economist and crisis consultant Randall Bell wrote: "Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the largest natural disaster in the history of the United States. Preliminary damage estimates were well in excess of $100 billion, eclipsing many times the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992."
However, a canal dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("USACE") from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico destroyed a natural barrier to a storm surge; and, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arguably was negligent in designing, constructing and maintaining the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the canal known as Mr. Go.
Today, over four (4) years later, thousands still live in trailers, instead of their prior homes, or replacements for them where they once stood.
If you or your family has been negatively affected by this tragedy, the experienced attorneys of Finz & Finz, P.C. can inform you of your legal options. Contact a Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Lawyer today!
USACE Failed to Satisfy its Obligations
The levee failures prompted investigations of their design and construction which belongs to the USACE as mandated in the Flood Control Act of 1965 and into their maintenance by the local Levee Boards.
$81.2 billion was the most recent estimate of the damage caused by Katrina; and, while the entirety of the damge cannot be attributed to the negligence of the USACE, a significant portion of it can be, since they were negligent in their duties to design, construct, and maintain the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the canal known as Mr. Go.
In fact, U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr., stated, in finding that there was liability on the part of the USACE, that "[o]nce the corps exercised its discretion to create a navigational channel, it was obligated to make sure that channel did not destroy the environment surrounding it thereby creating a hazard to life and property." Therefore, because that obligation was not met, there is definitely an argument to be made that the right of recovery is attributable to other aggrieved individuals.
When did the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Know?
The USACE knew of the danger long before 2005. District Judge Duval went on to state that "[b]y 1988 it knew that indeed all of the engineering blunders that it had made now put the Parish of St. Bernard at risk."
Indeed, it cannot be said that the USACE was not warned of this problem because, "[t]hey knew in the mid 1970s, and they certainly knew it by 1981," said Sherwood M. Gagliano, a geologist and former consultant to the corps, who testified before District Judge Duval.
The Chance to Remedy the Problem, Came and Went With the Tides
District Judge Duval said the USACE was aware the Mr. Go canal could produce a funnel effect, which ultimately increased the height of Katrina's storm surge and the magnitude of destruction. The canal acted as a funnel bringing water into the city and strengthening its force.
Moreover, the USACE considered a remedial action to prevent this funnel effect in 1967, "The plan was eventually rejected as not economically justified, detrimental to the economic interests of the local participants, and was so broad that it would require Congressional review," wrote Judge Duval.
Legal Injury Help for Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Victims and Their Families
If you, a friend, or a loved one have suffered property damage or been negatively affected by Hurricane Katrina property damage, please contact a Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Lawyer of Finz & Finz, P.C., at (855) TOP-FIRM today to speak with the Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Lawyer in New York or fill out the Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Lawyer Case Evaluation form on the right of this page.