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Judge: Flood suits may target Corps

May 03, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The Army Corps of Engineers can be held liable for flood damage caused by a "hurricane highway," a navigation channel that is believed to have funneled Hurricane Katrina's storm surge into New Orleans, a federal judge ruled.

The Corps of Engineers had argued that it was immune from liability because the channel is part of New Orleans' flood control system. The law says the federal government cannot be sued if something goes wrong with a flood control project such as a levee, reservoir or dam.

Judge Stanwood Duval dismissed that argument, saying the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, or MRGO, was clearly a ship channel and not a flood control project.

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