Frequently Asked Questions

What is this lawsuit about?

Shortly after Hurricane Harvey landed in Houston, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to open the flood gates of Addicks and Barker reservoirs, and released stormwater along Buffalo Bayou, resulting in the flooding of thousands of properties. Prior to the hurricane the Corps also declined to purchase adequate land for the reservoirs and allowed homes to be built on land it knew would flood. Under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the affected property owners may request “just compensation” from the federal government for their losses.

Who is qualified to request compensation from this lawsuit?

We believe the home and property owners in the area below, who received flooding as a result of the stormwater release on or after August 27-28, 2017, are entitled to join in the lawsuit. In addition, those property owners to the north and west of the reservoirs who flooded are entitled to join in the lawsuit.

How does this process work?

We have a lawsuit currently pending before the Court of Federal Claims, styled Young et al v. United States of America, 1:17-CV-01545-LKG, Sub-Master Docket No. 17-9002 L. We will continue to amend our case and include additional home and property owners into this case. If you are interested in joining the case, let us know.

If we determine that your property qualifies for the compensation process, we will include you in the case. We will take care of the rest.

What do I need to provide to you?

We need some general background information: such as the location of the property, date and time of the flooding, and duration of the flooding…etc. We will also need a list of the losses that you suffered as a result of the flooding. Give us a call and let us discuss.

What can I ask for from this lawsuit?

This would depend on the Court’s ruling. In the past, the U.S. Supreme Court had held, that:

“The goal of the Fifth Amendment’s just compensation requirement is to return the affected property owner to “as good position pecuniarily as he would have occupied if his property had not been taken.” United States v. Miller, 317 U.S. 369, 373 (1943).

Based on our research, we believe the following can be requested from the lawsuit:

For those who are repairing the property:
– Cost to repair the property,
– Personal property damages – such as furniture, electronics, TV, refrigerator, microwave…etc,
– Reduction of property value due to the flooding.

For those who wish to sell the property:
– Reduction of property value due to the flooding.

There are other elements of recovery, such as relocation cost (hotel bills, temporary rentals), increased insurance premiums (due to flooding), interests…etc.

I am a business owner who suffered damages due to the reservoir flooding. Can I join in the lawsuit?

Yes. Based on our research, we believe the following can be requested by a damaged business owner:
– Cost to repair the business,
– Business property damages,
– Lost business income.

How much does your firm charge for attorneys’ fees?

Our firm charges a “contingency” fee at the rate of 25% of the recovery. That is it. There is no other fee or expense. You do not need to send us a retainer or an initiation fee to get the case started. And if we do not recover for you, then you do not pay us anything.

We will ask the Court to order the federal government to pay for case expenses (such as filing fee, expert fee, litigation cost…etc). If they pay, we will be reimbursed. If they don’t, we will eat the loss. You will not owe us for non-reimbursed expenses.

How long would this process take?

It is difficult to tell how long a lawsuit would take. However, based on the Court’s scheduling order and instruction, we expect that the case will move forward very quickly.

I received money from my flood insurance provider and FEMA. Can I still join in this lawsuit?

Yes (although, you should expect to repay the money you receive from FEMA or flood insurance).

Do I need a lawyer?

We think you should hire a lawyer quickly so you are added to a court pleading as soon as possible.

Do I still have time to join in the lawsuit?

Yes. The sooner you join in, the sooner your case will be processed.

Give us a call, at 713 8644000; or e-mail us, at txlaw@lawtx.com. Visit us, at: https://lawtx.com/areas-of-practice/addicks-barker-reservoirs-floodwater-release/

We will be glad to talk to you and explain this process for you.