HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Three years after winning the landmark lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for intentionally imposing flooding on private land upstream during and after Harvey, Armi Easterby, court-appointed co-lead counsel and lead counsel for More than 1,600 upstream plaintiffs said today “After years of delays, we have completed the lawsuit that decides how much money the federal government owes for deliberately flooding the upstream community.”
In December 2019, the Court found the Army Corps responsible for sacrificing thousands of upriver homes and businesses behind Addicks and Barker Dams during and after Harvey. “During this storm, the Corps exploited Addicks and Barker to deliberately submerge more than 7,000 acres of private land upstream to protect the city of Houston and its shipping channel,” Easterby explained. “While these areas are vital to the nation’s economy and must be protected, under our Constitution the federal government must pay for the damage it has caused to homes and businesses upriver.”
After long delays, the Upstream damages trial began on Tuesday, May 31stand concluded on Friday, June 10e. More than 30 witnesses testified during the trial, including expert real estate appraisers who calculated how the flooding of Addicks and Barker Reservoir Pool had damaged the plaintiff’s properties. Easterby explained that “it was important for us to prove how damaging the floods caused were by using reliable, credible and well-supported experts”. The trial also presented testimony and evidence regarding personal property – furniture, cars, household items and valuable heirlooms – that were destroyed by prolonged submersion in the Corps’ grossly contaminated tank basins. On the first day of the trial, one of the plaintiffs explained, “I’m not trying to get rich from this. I just want to be healed.
The government also called several experts at the trial, one of whom claimed it was “fair and just” to use insurance adjustment tactics to force upstream claimants out of pocket to pay claims. reasonable and necessary repair costs. During Easterby’s cross-examination, the government witness admitted that the way adjusters handle claims is irrelevant in this case. “All the interest of the 5e The Just Compensation Amendment is intended to make the plaintiff whole, and in my personal opinion, the government’s attempts to “nickel and dime” its own citizens have backfired.
The Court is expected to issue a final decision later this year. Despite the protracted litigation, Easterby made it clear that his team would go the distance. “The delays were frustrating, but they couldn’t stop the administration of justice. Our commitment to hold the federal government accountable for its choices is stronger than ever. Easterby, a partner at Houston-based Williams Hart Boundas Easterby, LLP, has been licensed in the Federal Court of Claims for more than 20 years and has successfully represented thousands of clients during his career.
Mr Easterby concluded with ‘it is important to know that there is still time for upstream residents to lodge their claims’. Court records show that thousands of property owners who suffered the Addicks Barker Reservoir pool flooding have yet to file a claim. Landowners upstream of Addicks and Barker dams who experienced flooding in late August 2017 must file before the statute of limitations expires in 2023 to receive possible financial compensation. Contact Armi Easterby on the web at www.monreservoirclaim.comby email at [email protected] or by phone at (713) 940-6220.