On May 30, 2007, United States District Judge Stanwood R Duval dismissed a class action lawsuit by residents of South Louisiana claiming damages from Hurricane Katrina. The court ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies with the federal government before filing their Federal Tort Claims Act suit. The lawsuit accused the federal government of negligently designing, constructing, maintaining, inspecting and operating the area’s entire navigable waterway system, including the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Industrial Canal, the London Avenue Canal and the 17th Street Canal.
The court was also critical of the plaintiff’s laundry list use of a multitude of federal statutes to support their claims. The judge further suggested that the plaintiffs claims bordered on being sanctionable under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The opinion is Berthelot et al. v. BOH Bros. Construction Co. et al., No. 05-CV-04182, 2007 WL 1239132 (E.D. La. 4/27/07).