by Kevin C. Curry

In IRS News Release 2007-134 issued on July 31, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service has granted an additional year to the time limit for victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma to sell the vacant land upon which their home had sat and was destroyed as a result of the hurricanes. 

Continue Reading Victims of 2005 Hurricanes Get Additional Year to Sell Vacant Land

by Erich P. Rapp

The New Orleans Times Picayune posted a story to their web site on July 3, 2007 at 7:45 PM stating that the Corps of Engineers has formally recommended to Congress that the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet ("MR-GO") be closed. MR-GO is a 60 mile long shipping channel running from the Louisiana coast to the Industrial Canal in New Orleans. Construction on MR-GO started in 1958 and was completed in 1968. The canal was designed to be 36 feet deep and 500 feet wide.

Continue Reading Corps Recommends Closing MR-GO

by Erich P. Rapp

Throughout the Corps of Engineers’ history of building public works projects, they have sought to protect or enhance property values and economic interests of various groups. Often fixing one problem causes another. Sometimes those new problems are later referred to as “unintended consequences.”  Many times those supposed “unintended consequences” are known in advance. Nevertheless, these economic shifts often occur without warning or compensation to the people imperiled or damaged. This is the power and burden that goes with building large public works projects. It also presents the legal question of when should a property owner whose interests are imperiled or damaged by public works projects be compensated for such an economic shift.

Continue Reading Corps of Engineers Increases French Quarter Flood Risk

by Erich P. Rapp

Corps of Engineers Releases 100 Year Flood Maps for New Orleans Metro Area

On Wednesday June 20, 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers released its long anticipated 100 year flood maps for various parts of the New Orleans metro area. While the maps depict some improvement over the flood risk that

by Erich P. Rapp

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

by Erich P. Rapp

A case now pending in federal court in New Orleans may have an important impact on potential claims against the federal government for coastal land loss in Louisiana. 

Judge Duval has set the claims of numerous plaintiffs against the Army Corps of Engineers for trial beginning September 8, 2008. Plaintiffs contend the Corps contributed to flooding of their property in St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Continue Reading Claims Against Corps of Engineers Set For Trial

There is old adage that goes something like this, “if you always do what you always have done, you will always get what you always have got”. This philosophy may be partly to blame for the catastrophic losses that befell a seemingly unprepared New Orleans. Why should New Orleans have feared or even prepared for this potential? New Orleans did not suddenly sink below sea level�it was built that way.
Continue Reading Taking Stock of Your Insurance Post-Katrina

Many C-Level executives and small business owners have heard of the Gulf Opportunity Zone (the GO Zone Act) and know that it does something for Louisiana businesses, but they do not know if or how the new law can help them and their employees. Kean Miller has prepared a comprehensive summary of the GO Zone Act and its sister law, the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (“KETRA”). This summary describes the key legislative provisions and explains how Louisiana-area businesses, both large and small, can maximize the GO Zone benefits available to them.
Continue Reading What is the Gulf Opportunity Zone?

The Louisiana Medicaid Program has notified health care providers that they may be able to receive reimbursement for medical treatment provided to uninsured evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. To be reimbursed, the provider must have been enrolled in Medicaid as of August 24, 2005.
Continue Reading Medicaid Payment For Uncompensated Care Provided to Hurricane Evacuees

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), published two bulletins on September 2, 2005 and September 9, 2005 to discuss the application of HIPAA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The bulletins expressed the need for persons displaced by the hurricane to obtain ready access to health care and a means of contacting family and caregivers.
Continue Reading HIPAA Privacy and Disclosures in Emergency Situations