There is no doubt that Hurricane Katrina was a storm of colossal proportions, a rarity even in the current climate of super-charged storm fronts, but it is the ruling of a judge that has given a target for all of those affected by the damage left in its wake.
In a monumental ruling, U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval declared that the government, via negligence on the part of the Army Corp of Engineers, is directly responsible for many of the issues that people encountered after the winds settled.
In his 156-page decision, Judge Duval proceeded to rip the Army and U.S. Government a new one, using words such as “myopia, insouciance, and shortsightedness,” to describe the corps quality of work ethics.
“For more than 40 years the corps had known that a crucial levee protecting suburban St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood would be compromised by deterioration of the channel. The corps had a myriad of ways to address the problem but failed to do so.”
On the same day, Judge Duvall awarded $719,000 to a group of flood victims that sued the government in April of 2006.
The ruling creates a clear path for anyone effected by Katrina who would like to take legal action against the government in the storm’s aftermath.
With the inefficiency that was FEMA, I am sure that there will be more lawsuits in the near future.