Extra! Extra! Read about a big ass number!

I believe this story begins withUSA Today’s terrible article that seems straight out ofArmy Corps of Engineers headquarters Wichita. The story was titled “Katrina victims swamp corps with trillions in claims.” Its lead screams…

WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of people whose property was destroyed
when Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed New Orleans’ protective levees have
filed claims demanding the government pay astronomical sums that would
be enough money to make multimillionaires of everyone in Louisiana.

Hooweee let’s all move to Looziana where they’ll be shitting golden turds.

It just gets worse from there as the article focuses on 247 claims of $1 billion out of the 489,000 claims filed.

But what is really important in this? What the press and media has now discovered…from CNN to Press TV in Iran? It’s this–one claim was for 3 quadrillon dollars! Oh fucking my! What you never heard of such a thing? The reporter will make it clear…

One claim alone seeks $3 quadrillion in damages, almost all of it for
personal injury. That’s a 3 followed by 15 zeros — about 250 times the
nation’s gross domestic product.

Wow. Get it now?

A 3 and then 000000000000000



Or 15 letters:





There is no context in the article such as why those claims were filed other than to say…”Most of the claims allege that the corps is to blame for the levee failures that inundated huge sections of New Orleans.” Gee maybe they “allege” thusly because ACE admitted it’s fault in the matter in April 2006. Nor does the story seriously examine the likelihood that these cases will never even get a hearing in court. Could it possibly be that claimants know there chances of suing the government are so far out there that they thought what the hell let’s just make up some numbers? And last I’d love to know how this story came about as it seems to come straight from ACE. 

But why let that get in the way of a good story? One that now is cropping upeverywhere. Of course maybe I could suffer the 3 quadrillion foolishness if the press and media had reported inApril of 2006 on ACE’s admission before a Senate committee that it’s “design failure” was responsible for the flooding of New Orleans.They didn’t report that though. Katrina was the biggest news story of 2005 but by April 2006 the media couldn’t even be bothered to report on why it happened, at least in New Orleans. Of course if they had–I doubt we would be reading the $3 quadrillion story…at least in the same way.

12 thoughts on “Extra! Extra! Read about a big ass number!

  1. the upside of the monster claim…it puts this issue in the spotlight…sadly, the focus will be on the ‘greedy’ claimant and not the actual issue at hand – THE LEVEE FAILURE AND ADMISSION OF GUILT BY ACE!

  2. I read this on the AP wire a couple of days ago and you know what killed me about that story? Waaaaaay down in it was the note that businesses and — YES! — insurance companies were also suing. But they’re not greedy. No, it’s just the victims who are greedy. The insurance companies’ claims are righteous and just.
    It makes me want to smash something.

  3. of course in iWaq, we even pay for doors our army breaks while entering. i do not see why we can’t use a similar system of outright payments. at least $50 for teevees. 10,000 for a roof. oh, iraqis only get $2,500 for a dead relative…may need some tweeking with numbers. just fucking pay them.

  4. it’s like the welfare mothers driving cadillacs meme – reeks of pure bullshit a thousand miles away. somebody purposely wants to paint a picture of the claimants as greedy and money-grubbing. it’s a smear job. worse than just ambulance chasing – it stinks of propaganda to me. now who do you think would want that kind of picture painted, and why, hmm?

  5. I don’t get it. In any negotiation, its pretty standard that you first highball, the other side lowballs and then you try to meet somewhere inbetween.
    Admittedly, a hundred gazillion seems rather ridiculous, and puts a pall over the proceedings. But did they expect that the claimants were going to lowball them?

  6. Even the good ol’ TP ran with that the other day: http://www.nola.com/timespic/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-26/1199773207152710.xml&coll=1&thispage=1
    They at least took the time to quote a lawyer working on the cases re: why the claims are so high:

    “Government also requires that you put down a figure . . . although only a judge can determine value.” he said. “But here’s the deal: Whatever number you put down, you can never get one dollar more than that amount. To be safe and fair, we told folks they’d better put a larger number.”

    But still, the headline (Katrina claims add up to quadrillions) was obviously written to draw snorts and guffaws. FSM, I love our media (not!)

  7. Well, I’m upping the ante. I’m going to sue for 4 quadrillion dollars, and I don’t even live in New Orleans. I’m notifying USA Today right now. Let’s see if they write that up!

  8. … and then you move on to wine and shots.
    Yup, that’s us alright
    Great post Scout.

  9. the upside of the monster claim…it puts this issue in the spotlight…sadly, the focus will be on the ‘greedy’ claimant and not the actual issue at hand – THE LEVEE FAILURE AND ADMISSION OF GUILT BY ACE!”
    Yes, Elspeth, that’s what I thought after I first thought maybe it was a parody lawsuit, to show how much NOLA people lost. Then, when they’re asked about it, they can say, “Well, I though if we asked for 4 trillion bucks, we’d maybe get 50 thou or so.” But I’m afraid the demands are in real dollars, and I’m convinced all we’ll hear is about how number-dumb people in NOLA are. I’ll join the commenter who wants to smash things. Lots of things.

  10. Uh, sorry, that should be, “Well, I thoughT if we asked for 4 trillion bucks, maybe . . .”

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