As we reported in a prior update, the Court ruled that the Government is liable for causing the flooding of the 13 upstream test properties during Hurricane Harvey. This is a significant victory—and major step forward! And we are very pleased for all of the affected upstream homeowners, renters, and businesses.
Importantly, the Court ruled that the Government took a permanent flowage easement on upstream properties that were flooded by the reservoir pool (flooding either inside the structures, or outside on the lawns and driveways). This ruling means that this litigation presents the only opportunity to be compensated for the flowage easement. Participation in this lawsuit is important for compensation.
In terms of next steps in the litigation, the judge wants to move to the “damages” phase of the case for the test properties. He requested that six of the 13 test properties be proposed for the purpose of testing how damages (or monetary losses) are to be measured. At the judge’s request, we will finalize the selection of those six test properties later this month, from which the Judge will then choose five. Among the damages are lost contents, property repairs, lost vehicles, and lost property value. These types of damages, and others, will be evaluated as part of this next phase of the case.
While the litigation is continuing for the test properties, we have been collecting information from our clients on their losses and damages. Our case managers have a system for collecting this information, and will be in touch with all of our clients. Also, we have already hired our experts for evaluating damages. If you haven’t signed up, we think you should to begin on your damages calculations and preparations.
Next Town Hall Meeting: Sunday, January 12, 2:00 – 4:00 PM.
At our town hall meetings, we provide information about the status of the lawsuit, we discuss background on why the upstream flooding happened, and we address the next steps for recovery of losses. We usually speak for about an hour and then take questions until every last question is answered.
The next meeting will be on January 12, starting at 2:00 PM, at the Four Points by Sheraton Houston Energy Corridor, located at 18861 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77094. Directions here.
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We have a variety of different clients – homeowners, renters, landlords, investment properties, businesses, storefronts, and Homeowners Associations. All are welcome to be a part of the lawsuit, and either come to a meeting or contact us directly. We have frequent meetings to inform the upstream client group about the case. If you cannot make this one, you can come to one in the future, or you can call us (713-533-1704 or 888-248-5215).
News Articles and Video Clips on Court Victory
There were several news stories about the Court victory in the upstream case, and we are providing some of them here.
The Houston Chronicle published a lengthy story, which included quotes from Daniel Charest, one of our team’s three Court-appointed co-lead counsel.
Fox News also taped a good story, that also include a clip from Daniel Charest.
Various legal blogs carried stories, and we are sharing just one of them here.
It’s not too late to join and get the word out!
As we have said before, it is not too late to join. Also, following this Court victory, we want to get the word out that this lawsuit is progressing apace. Please spread the word to your neighbors on Facebook, Nextdoor, or just word of mouth—whatever it takes. It’s important to remember that we are stronger as a community than any of us are standing alone.
As a reminder, this is who we are: The Court appointed our team of lawyers to 3 of the 6 leadership positions for the upstream cases. (We are happy to share the Court’s appointment order with you.) Our team is comprised of environmental attorneys with experience in flooding litigation—Irvine & Conner—and a complex litigation firm that handles high stakes litigation—Burns Charest. Plus, one of our team lawyers, Larry Dunbar, is also an engineer/hydrologist with extensive knowledge on the Addicks/Barker reservoirs.
In addition, we have set up different places to get information and/or send us questions. Please feel free to access these resources and/or pass them (or even this email) along to your neighbors. Getting the word out about the case and our meetings will be a big help to us and the affected upstream flood victims.
Phone: 713-533-1704, or 888-248-5215
Charles Irvine, Irvine & Conner PLLC
Daniel Charest, Burns Charest LLP
Larry Vincent, Burns Charest LLP
Co-Lead Counsel for Upstream Harvey Flood Cases