Trial to Begin Over Claims Army Corps Knew of Flooding Risk in Wake of Harvey

The trial involving Hurricane Harvey-related claims from Houston-area property owners who were flooded by the water release from two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs will begin on May 6.

“We’re pleased that we can finally present the evidence to claim fair compensation for the residents whose property was flooded because of the government’s failures,” said Daniel Charest of Burns Charest LLP, co-lead counsel for the residents. “The Corps of Engineers knew its reservoirs and management plans would result in the flooding of private property, which is exactly what happened in August 2017.”

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 homes and businesses flooded near government-run dams to the west of Houston. The plaintiffs allege the actions of the Corps of Engineers and its design of the reservoirs led to the flooding of their private property, resulting in an unlawful “taking” of land under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Addicks and Barker reservoirs were built in the 1940s and 1950s. Over the years, the government allowed developers to build thousands of homes and businesses on land that the Corps knew was at risk of flooding. During Harvey’s rains, some of these properties flooded from reservoir overflow, and others flooded when the Corps chose to release water to protect the dams.

The two-week bench trial is before the Court of Federal Claims but will take place in the federal courthouse in downtown Houston.

For more information, or to speak with Mr. Charest, contact Barry Pound at 800-559-4534 or

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