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Army Corps of Engineers claims immunity in Katrina class action

[JURIST] The US Army Corps of Engineers [official website] argued Thursday that it cannot be sued for negligence over the collapse of a flood wall and levee caused by Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] because the Flood Control Act of 1928 [text] grants it immunity. New Orleans residents have filed a class action suit against the Corps, alleging that the levee was damaged prior to Katrina and that the Corps was negligent in maintaining it. US District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. told plaintiffs' lawyers that the law may grant immunity, which would preclude suit against the government for negligence, but has not yet ruled on whether the suit can go forward.

In a separate canal breach case [LAED case materials], Duval ruled in February that those plaintiffs can proceed with claims [JURIST report] that the Corps ignored warnings that the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet contained defects that exacerbated flooding during Katrina. AP has more.

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