Over at the Ladder, you’ll find a new twist in the lawsuit of news anchor Norman Robinson and others against the Army Corp of Engineers – it seems the lead attorney L.A. lawyer Pierce O’Donnel is facing indictment over contributions to the Edwards campaign but not the current one. The charges date from contributions made in 2003.
In looking for background on the lawsuit itself, I found and figured out [at last!] how to link this memory refreshing video – take a look and then read more about the case.
more about “When the Levee Breaks“, posted with vodpod
If you, too, thought Louisiana courts had decided the case against the Corps could not move forward, you may also be surprised to learn there have been at least two big class action suits filed against the Corps. Here’s some background from a NYT story about one dismissed with this Order issued by the Federal Judge who is also hearing the Robinson case.
The plaintiffs in the class-action suit dismissed by the judge were many of the hundreds of thousands of people who filed claims here against the corps last year because of the levee breaches that flooded the city. They lined up in cars and on foot and jammed the streets around the agency’s district headquarters, acting out what has been a loudly spoken article of faith since the days in 2005 when water covered 80 percent of New Orleans and ruined the homes of thousands: the corps — not nature, not a record-breaking storm surge and not local politics or local negligence — was to blame.
The judge, Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of the Federal District Court here, a son of South Louisiana, heartily seconded that notion on Wednesday, suggesting that the corps was guilty of “gross incompetence.” But Judge Duval said he was powerless to rule favorably on the lawsuit because the Flood Control Act of 1928 granted legal immunity to the government in the event of failure of flood control projects like levees.
Robinson and others are part of a different case.
[The] ruling has no effect on Judge Duval’s decision in a separate lawsuit against the Corps for flooding that was exacerbated by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MR-GO). In the case “Robinson v. United States ” which is also part of the consolidated Katrina litigation before Judge Duval, the judge held in a preliminary decision that there are presently no facts that establish the immunity of the Corps under the Flood Control Act 1928, because the MR-GO is a federal navigation project, and not a flood control project.
This case – with O’Donnel involved is active and a big one! Here’s the Complaint and a brief summary.
Submitting a claim for a staggering $77 billion, the city of New Orleans joined tens of thousands of would-be plaintiffs who rushed to beat a Thursday deadline to alert the Army Corps of Engineers that they may sue for losses resulting from the levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina.
Also joining the queue were Entergy New Orleans, the city’s bankrupt electrical utility, which is seeking $655 million, and the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, which put in a claim of about $460 million, spokesmen for the agencies said.
While they are likely to be among the largest filed, the three claims became part of an avalanche of paperwork that poured into the corps’ Leake Avenue headquarters as Thursday’s 11:59 p.m. deadline approached, corps personnel said.