The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently issued a significant opinion in a case in which a takings claim was asserted to redress Hurricane Katrina-related flood damage. On April 20, 2018, it reversed a decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims (“Claims Court”), which had held the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liable under the Tucker Act for flood damage to the Plaintiffs’ properties.
In 1968, the Corps completed construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (“MRGO”) in New Orleans. The purpose of this navigation channel was to increase commerce between the port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. Around the same time, Congress authorized funding for flood control through the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project (“LPV”). This project was instituted to reduce the risk of flooding in New Orleans, and it resulted in the construction of levees and floodwalls along the banks of MRGO. Continue Reading