The government will most likely appeal this ruling. From the NPR link:
A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled the U.S. government owes damages to residents whose homes were swamped by Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters in 2005.Three cheers for this judge. The ruling might not stand but he did the right thing anyway regardless of how the higher federal courts rule.
In a sometimes scathing critique of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval found "monumental negligence" in the operation and maintenance of a shipping channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.
He rejected the government's argument that the Corps was immune from liability and had properly maintained the navigation channel, known locally as MRGO.
Flood victims had sued, arguing the widening of the channel and subsequent loss of protective wetlands turned MRGO into a speedway for Katrina's storm surge. Judge Duval blamed government engineers for letting the shipping channel "run amok."
Duval awarded damages of about $720,000 to four people and a business. The case has been closely watched by other Katrina victims seeking compensation from the government.