Katrina suit against engineer corp beginning

Arguments are set to begin Monday in a lawsuit she filed along with four other residents and a business. They claim the corps owes them damages because of the massive flooding after Katrina that stirred up the waters and washed out levees along a 75-mile, man-made shipping channel dubbed “hurricane highway.”

Much is at stake in the trial, which will be heard and decided by a judge, not a jury: If the plaintiffs are victorious, more than 120,000 other individuals, businesses and government entities could have a better shot at claiming billions of dollars in damages.

The residents argue the corps’ poor maintenance of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a shipping channel dug in the 1960s as a short-cut between the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans, led to the wipeout of St. Bernard Parish and the city’s Lower Ninth Ward when Katrina struck in August 2005. They are asking for damages between $300,000 and $400,000 for each individual.

AP via Clarion-Ledger
4/20/9