The MRGO Monster Mash

He did the mash
He did the monster mash

Levees.orgBumper2AOn or about August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast largely sparing Greater New Orleans, which fortunately lay in Katrina’s rapidly deteriorating western eye-wall. The result was that Katrina laid waste to virtually everything in its path along the Mississippi Gulf Coast; but in Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes, Katrina’s winds did not even register as a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The winds barely reached 100 miles per hour. Nevertheless, through the fault and negligence of Defendants, a tidal surge rushed from the Gulf though the MR-GO and collided at the nexus of the Gulf Intra-coastal Waterway [“GIWW”] and MR-GO with another storm surge from Lake Borgne which combined to flood the New Orleans east bank (downtown protected area), the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish by overwhelming levees/floodwalls and/or spoil banks that had been negligently designed, constructed, maintained, undermined, weakened and/or operated by the Defendants.

This action results from one of the most predictable and preventable man-made catastrophes in American history—the tragic devastation of homes and lives during and after Hurricane Katrina [“Katrina”] on or about August 29, 2005–caused by negligence, fault and/or strict liability of the United States Army Corps of Engineers [“Corps”], Washington Group  International, Inc. [“Washington” or “Washington Group”], the Board of Commissioners of the Orleans Parish Levee District [“Orleans“], St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company [“St. Paul”], and The Board of Commissioners of the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District [“Lake Borgne”] [collectively “Defendants”]

He did the mash
Joseph M. Bruno did the monster mash

Bruno is the MRGO Plaintiffs’ Liasion Counsel; the monster is the Motion to Dismiss filed by the USA; and the first steps in the monster mash were Continue reading “The MRGO Monster Mash”

Insurer defendants attempt detour of Road Home

Having discovered the detour attempted by the insurer defendants of Louisiana’s Road Home litigation – a petition to the Fifth Circuit with leave to file an Interlocutory Appeal granted the 19th of this month – SLABBED turns to the orders of Judge Duval for background on the issues under Appeal.

The Louisiana Road Home program is a grant program funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and operated by the Louisiana Recovery Authority. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Congress appropriated funds for disaster relief to be administered through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program. HUD distributed some of these funds to Louisiana, which in turn created the Road Home program to distribute these funds as grants to homeowners. Road Home grants are designed to compensate homeowners up to $150,000.00 for structural damage, exclusive of contents damages, caused by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita.

Katrina litigation in Louisiana has suffered from the Fifth Circuit’s overly broad definition of “flood” and off-the-wall ruling on anti-concurrent causation, as well as the heavily promoted image of “Katrina the flood”.   However, Sop will likely be as surprised as I to learn, Despite the request of this Court, the State could not point to any federal statute or regulation governing the Road Home program that could create a legal subrogation.

Congress appropriated disaster assistance funds to existing federal programs, including HUD’s CDBG program, subject to rules governing the allowable use of program funds.  The CDBG rules required each recipient state to develop and submit a plan for approval and the federal approval process includes a review to ensure a plan is consistent with related federal law.

Consistent with federal law, the Road Home program prohibits providing any relief Continue reading “Insurer defendants attempt detour of Road Home”

Slabbed welcomes Wayne Weiser: “Why Katrina was the fault of man’s malfeasence”

Mr Weiser is retired after thirty nine years with US Army Corp of Engineers in the New Orleans district. He has compiled a boatload of research and given his experience with USACE his perspective is interesting in light of the ongoing NOLA area flood control rebuilding and MRGO litigation.

I’ll also add that while we have been highly critical of FEMA at times we also greatly valued the input we received from rank and file FEMA employees as we welcome all viewpoints here at Slabbed. While we are primarily insurance and legally oriented we have a big enough tent to include NOLA flood control as a topic.  If you are with the USACE and are moved to comment we’d love to hear from you. – sop

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Drove my Chevy to the Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation (part 1)

Today is the day we start  the mind-boggling task of looking at the Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation.  Inclusive of Robinson v US Army Corps of Engineers,  MRGO, we begin with an examination of the impressive infrastructure of the case established in Case Management Order Number 1: Protocol for Case Management.

In re Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation, CA No. 05-4182, as designated by Case Management Order No.1 issued on July 19, 2006, is the umbrella caption under which all litigation arising out of Hurricane Katrina is to be filed. For case management purposes, CA No. 05-4182 has been divided into several sub-categories, wherein each suit within the scope of this consolidated litigation is placed based on the nature of the claims being brought.

After struggling to compose a brief narrative description of the case infrastructure, I determined even an imperfect, unofficial picture would be more understandable and created this graphic depiction of the case management. Continue reading “Drove my Chevy to the Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation (part 1)”