The fallout over the Hurricane Katrina ruling

The World

On Wednesday, a federal judge in New Orleans awarded approximately $750,000 to three plaintiffs who sued the Army Corps of Engineers for damages they suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The ruling addresses only flooding that occurred as a result of poor maintenance of a shipping channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. And while $750,000 doesn’t sound like much money in the context of Hurricane Katrina, the legal consequences of this decision could be enormous: It paves the way for many thousands of residents to sue the government over Katrina, a move that may cost the U.S. government billions. We hear from Joseph Bruno, whose firm is also heading a series of suits involving many thousands of plaintiffs suing over levee breaches and insurance payments in the wake of Katrina. We also talk to Ann Parfaite, a resident of the lower 9th Ward, who lost her house in the hurricane, and is one of thousands of plaintiffs who’ve signed up with Mr. Bruno.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.