Home or property owners near the Addicks / Barker reservoirs whose property was flooded after the controlled release of stormwater on August 27-28, 2017, this applies to you.
The Addicks / Barker Reservoir Releases of 2017
On August 27-28, 2017, the Army Corps of Engineers released water from the Addicks / Barker reservoirs to reduce the water level. The Corps of Engineers did this knowing that it would flood nearby neighborhoods.
Many home and properties that were otherwise safe and dry suffered significant flooding as a result.
“Taking” by the Government
“When the government physically takes possession of an interest in property for some public purpose, it has a categorical duty to compensate the former owner.”
— U.S. Supreme Court (2002)
The stormwater release is a “Taking” by the government. The 5th Amendment of the Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken for public use “without just compensation.” This clause is “designed to bar government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.”
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2012 that it was possible for government-induced, temporary flooding to constitute a “taking” of property.
You should file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. You will not be suing the government for FAULT. Nor will you be complaining of their decision. You can request compensation because your property was sacrificed for the benefit of others. If so, you have a constitutional right to be compensated.
Who may file a claim?
If the Addicks / Barker stormwater release resulted in loss or damage to your home, vehicles, furniture, and other property, you may be entitled to a claim.
How to pick a lawyer?
There are many good lawyers who will do a good job. But some won’t. What should you do? Ask:
- Are they BOARD CERTIFIED? You demand that your doctor is. You should also demand that your lawyer is. Less than 4% of lawyers are. To be board certified, you are closely vetted, endorsed by judges and other lawyers and must pass a written test. Do not conclude they are qualified simply because they are a Super Lawyer or Best Lawyer. Those are for-profit companies that have no public purpose. Board certification demonstrates to the public that you are qualified.
- TRIALS: Have they tried a bunch of cases in the past? You need someone with trial experience. However, do not require experience in flood release cases. Not many has much experience in this area. It’s a novel area that can be handled by an otherwise competent lawyer.
- GOOGLE them. Can you learn substantive qualities about them when you google them? Everybody describes how qualified they are, but be sure their experience is backed up with substance: how many trials, past leadership positions, past awards, etc.
- TRUST: Do you trust the person you talked to? Will they return your call?
My request is that you hire a qualified lawyer. I wish you the very best.
JACK E. MCGEHEE
We represent flood release property owners for a 29% contingency fee, calculated before court costs and litigation expenses, which are advanced by attorney and repaid by client; however, no fee if no recovery.
I would be honored to represent you.
The attorneys at McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf will diligently represent your interests and fight for you. If your home or property has been damaged due to the Addicks / Barker reservoirs stormwater release, talk to one of the attorneys at McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf to understand your options.
This consultation is free. Please fill out the following so that one of our staff can contact you: