With the deadline approaching for filing claims against the United States government and the Corps of Engineers more than a quarter of a million people have filed personal injury and property damage claims against the court demanding compensation. These lawsuits claim that the Corps of Engineers was negligent in designing the waterworks that go throughout New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
The rush to meet the deadline to file claims for personal injuries and property damage rush so overwhelmed the federal agency responsible for claims that a traffic jam formed in front of its offices. Two months after the deadline, federal workers are still compiling the paperwork.
Legal experts note that the simple filing of a claim and lawsuit does not mean that the consumers will receive the compensation they desire. Even if all the allegations are in fact correct, the United States is still immune from these types of claims, attorneys for the Corp of Engineers content. Nevertheless the claims filed to date now exceed over $278,000,000,000.00.
Nevertheless, Plaintiff’s attorneys remain optimistic. The evidence, they say, supports their claims.
An engineering review panel convened by the Corps noted that although Katrina was worse than the type of storm the levee system was designed for, the performance of the flood works “was less than the design intent.” The devastation “was aided by the presence of incomplete protection, lower than authorized structures [levees], and levee sections with erodible materials,” it said.