When Hurricane Harvey stormed into the Houston area, it left a trail of destruction. The Army Corps of Engineers and local government officials made the decision to “control release” the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, which ultimately flooded Houston homes upstream and downstream.
When private property is damaged or taken for public use by the government, the property owner needs to be compensated for the loss. Cases like these are known as inverse condemnation. This suit is initiated by the property owner when the government intentionally damages or takes the owner’s property without following the proper procedures and fails to compensate the property owner for their loss.
There is evidence that the government may have known that there was a high risk of flooding to certain properties. And as a result, the government may be held liable for your property’s damages in an inverse condemnation case.
Recovering Losses From The Government
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects private property. When the government flooded the reservoirs, they may have been doing so to minimize property damage overall, but the government is still liable for the property that was damaged due to their actions.
These cases are heard by federal courts and are not jury trials. Federal court does not mean the case will be held in Washington D.C., as it can be held in Texas at a federal courthouse, and our lawyers are experienced in this area.
In order to recover losses, it is important to note:
- Flood insurance is not required to pursue an inverse condemnation claim.
- For those without flood insurance, inverse condemnation is likely your only recourse for recovering damages from flooding.
If you have questions about inverse condemnation or your property was damaged due to the releasing of the Barker or Addicks reservoir, our attorneys can help. Call us at 713-757-1400 or toll free at 888-529-5222 or contact us online for a free consultation.