Williams Kherkher Files Inverse Condemnation Lawsuit on Behalf of Upstream Homeowners flooded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operation of the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs
HOUSTON, Oct. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On September 28th, Houston law firm Williams Kherkher filed an individual lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on behalf of 10 West Houston residents whose homes were flooded as a result of the Army Corps of Engineers’ operation of the Addicks and Barker Dams and Reservoirs. The case is called Jacobson, et al. v. United States, Cause No. 17-1374L. The U.S. Government is the defendant because it is ultimately responsible for the Corps’ operation of the Reservoirs. The U.S. Government waives sovereign immunity for Fifth Amendment takings cases.
The Reservoirs protect downstream structures in the Buffalo Bayou corridor from flooding by storing stormwater behind the dams during periods of significant rainfall. The lawsuit alleges that the Corps’ standard operating procedures made it inevitable that, during Tropical Storm Harvey, the Reservoir pools would exceed the limits of Government-Owned Land, thereby flooding the neighboring deed-restricted subdivisions and gated communities. “The Corps operates these dams so they can store more floodwater than the government has land on which to store it,” explained lead counsel Armistead “Armi” Easterby, a Williams Kherkher partner who has been licensed in the Court of Federal Claims for nearly 20 years. Once the Reservoirs’ pool elevations get high enough, the Government intentionally uses private land to store the impounded floodwater.
The lawsuit seeks compensation under the Fifth Amendment for the Corps’ intentional use of private land within the Reservoirs’ “pool area.” Easterby explained that “normally, the Government decides that it needs to take land for a public purpose, and then condemns the land and pays the owner fair market value. An inverse condemnation case works backwards — the Government takes the property first, and the owner is forced to file a lawsuit in order to recover just compensation.” “We’re seeking compensation for the costs to cure the flood damage, for diminished property values, and for the value of flooded personal property, such as furniture and clothing,” said Easterby.
The Corps admitted in an August 28th press release that stormwater from Addicks and Barker had already extended beyond government owned land. Tragically, many of the flooded property owners did not have flood insurance because their homes and businesses aren’t located in either the 100-year floodplains, and had no prior history of flooding.
Williams Kherkher is accepting more of these inverse condemnation cases, and will be filing additional lawsuits on behalf of individual property owners affected by the Corps’ authorized actions.
Visit our website at www.myreservoirclaim.com or call us at (713) 999-4552.
About Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas Easterby, LLP
Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas Easterby, LLP is a nationally recognized trial law firm representing clients across the country in mass torts, personal injury, and commercial litigation. Williams Kherkher has a depth of knowledge and a wealth of resources that few firms can match, which is why the firm has been a trusted name for injured parties for over 25 years, whether that party is an injured individual or a powerful multinational corporation. We pride ourselves in equal commitment and dedication to every client we have.
In addition to fighting on the front lines of the legal battlefield, we at Williams Kherkher work to honor our moral commitment to our clients and our community. Though we never underestimate the importance of recovering financially for our clients, we believe that our unwavering professionalism and strict ethical standards form stronger cornerstones for our practice than any amount of money ever could. For this reason, Williams Kherkher is proud to give back to our community whenever possible.
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SOURCE Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas Easterby, LLP