Judge Rules That The Government Failed To Properly Maintain New Orleans Waterways
This case shows everything that is right about America; our citizens are able to hold the government accountable both at the ballot box, and in the court room. It must seem crazy to citizens of other countries that we can do so. It seems crazy to me to live any other way.
“It is the court’s opinion that the negligence of the corps, in this instance by failing to maintain the MR-GO properly, was not policy, but insouciance, myopia and shortsightedness,” wrote Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of Federal District Court.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that the Army Corps had not exercised “due care” in its maintenance of the channel, and that the maintenance that was done, like dredging, only made things worse. The corps’ actions, they said, brought salt water into the New Orleans area, killing off marshes; eroded the banks on which levees sat; and more than doubled the channel in width, giving water driven by hurricanes an unobstructed path to the city.
In his decision, Judge Duval largely agreed with this argument, at least as it pertained to St. Bernard and the Lower Ninth Ward. He was highly critical of the government, which had argued that the hurricane and its massive storm surge was simply more than the system had been designed to handle, and said the corps had manipulated facts.
Source: Ruling on Katrina Flooding Favors Homeowners - NYTimes.com