This is one whopping BIG lawsuit…as it should be:
Submitting a claim for a staggering $77 billion, the city of New
Orleans joined tens of thousands of would-be plaintiffs who rushed to
beat a Thursday deadline to alert the Army Corps of Engineers that they
may sue for losses resulting from levee breaches.
Also joining the queue were Entergy New Orleans, the city’s bankrupt
electrical utility, which is seeking $655 million, and the New Orleans
Sewerage & Water Board, which put in a claim of about $460 million,
spokesmen for the agencies said.
Hours before the cut-off time, enough bags and boxes of claim forms had
arrived to fill an 8 foot-by-10 foot room, corps spokeswoman Kathy
The filing frenzy would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago.
Until recently, the idea of suing the Army Corps of Engineers was
dismissed by most lawyers as a non-starter. They pointed to a 1928
federal law immunizing the corps from lawsuits stemming from its
But early last month, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled that the
corps has no such protection when it comes to lawsuits over problems
caused by its navigation projects.
Nagin’s office announced the filing 20 minutes before Bush took off on AF1.The press office denied that was in any way timed to Bush’s visit. OK, but it’s fun to believe otherwise because it’d be just so good. They also could not explain how they came up with the $77B figure…
“Obviously, I would assume that we have some basis for coming up with
these numbers, but I don’t have that information,” Nagin spokesman
James Ross said late Thursday. “All I can tell you if that you’ll have
to assume that there is some basis for the number.”
Man he sounds like Tony Snow on the nebulous $110B. Hmmm