Federal judge finds government liable for Hurricane Harvey damage

A federal judge found the government liable for Hurricane Harvey flood damage to 10,000 to 12,000 homes and structures that are upstream of Addicks and Barker Flood Control Resevoirs.

“For our clients who are out of their homes and have been damaged by this, it’s increasingly significant,” said attorney Dan Charest.

Thousands of Harvey victims will benefit from the federal judge’s ruling.

“Does the government have to pay? Is it liable? And the answer is yes,” Charest said. “The next question is for how much and for what exactly.”

The judge ruled the United States Army Corp of Engineers, the government, stole the easement owned by homeowners upstream of the dams without compensating them for it.

“The government design of those dams were such that it used private property to store impounded flood waters rather than building enough to hold all the water that the dam was designed to hold,” said Charest.

“This entire neighborhood flooded all 721 homes in Canyon Gates and Cinco Ranch,” Christina Micu said.

She’s one of thousands of homeowners who could benefit from the judge’s ruling.

“The water stayed in the house for almost two weeks,” Micu said. “If it wasn’t damaged by water, it was damaged by mold.”

It’s important to note the judge’s ruling only involves homeowners and businesses upstream and this does not involve homes that flooded downstream due to intentional releases.

”There’s confusion about that but upstream is not due to the release but the retention of water,” said Charest.

“I'm really excited that this will make a huge difference because this has impacted  thousands and thousands of lives,” said Micu.

A spokesman for the Justice Department told us they are reviewing the ruling and that is the only comment.