Since the days after the Katrina, I’ve tried to explain that the Corps of Engineers would be sued for their negligence that destroyed New Orleans and that they’d be sued for billions. It started in earnest this week.
Flood victims line up to sue corps
Agency assigns extra people to collect forms
Darlene McDonald made it her business to get to the Army Corps of Engineers’ local office Wednesday to hand over papers required to get in line to sue the federal government over levee breaks that flooded her home in New Orleans East during Hurricane Katrina.
McDonald was just one of hundreds in a steady stream of people who have driven to the federal agency’s Leake Avenue headquarters to deliver claims forms, which must be received no later than 4 p.m today.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the corps announced that the claims forms would be accepted until the deadline at any of its offices around the nation. A list of corps offices is available at www.hecsa.usace.army.mil/pubactv.html on the Internet.
Like many other people who showed up on the corps’ doorstep Wednesday, McDonald said she’d heard about the Thursday deadline from a friend — in her case, a co-worker who gave her one of the forms to fill out. “Everybody is trying to help out each other,” she said.
When the flood of claims first began arriving Monday, they were being dropped off by motorists at a mailbox in the corps’ office parking lot.
But around midmorning Wednesday, traffic gridlock prompted the corps to switch to a new system with at least ten corps employees, all wearing orange reflective vests, accepting forms handed to them by people through the windows of passing vehicles.
With all due respect to the paper, it wasn’t hundreds of people, it was thousands. An entire section of town was bumper to bumper traffic with people handing in their forms. Realizing that 4pm meant nothing legally, the Corps was forced to accept forms until midnight. The late local news had footage of thousands of people dropping off their forms.
I [we] personally sued for the sum of $750,000. And I hope we get every penny…. Or should I say I hope they have to pay every penny. If the judge told me the good news is that he ruled in my favor but the bad news was I had to donate the money to charity, that would be fine by me.
For 90% of the people in line, it isn’t about money. — Because none of us really expect to see a penny.– It’s about justice and holding the Army Corps of Engineers responsible for the deaths of 1000+ people and the destruction of a city.
The phrase I’ve used all day is, “I don’t care if I wait 10 years to collect 10 dollars, I want them to pay.” Most everyone agreed.
Meanwhile the city dropped a bomb of their own…
City files $77 billion claim against Corps
The following is from a New Orleans city government press release:
The City of New Orleans has filed form SF-95, claiming $77 billion in damages as a result of a break in the levees following Hurricane Katrina.
The form is required to seek reimbursement from the federal government for personal injury or property damage. The City Attorney’s Office filed the claim on Wednesday afternoon.
“Given the uncertainty with respect to which federal statute the court would find applicable, it was prudent at this stage to file the SF-95 with the Corps to preserve the City’s claim,” said City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields
Today is the deadline for citizens to file claims. Claims must include the date and location at which the alleged negligent act or damage occurred and a specific estimate of damages.
I dunno what a city of a half million people is worth but I guess $77 billion is as good a number as any.
I truly hope this costs the Corps $100 Billion. Then Congress will figure out that oversight means more than grandstanding for the cameras. The Corps is systemically broken.
I’m sure the only people who will make any money are the lawyers; but on this one, that’s fine with me.
Note: If you’re new here and don’t understand how and why the Corps of Engineers (not Katrina) destroyed New Orleans search the archives. It’s all there.