As we reported last month, trial concluded on May 17, 2019. We were pleased with the proceedings, in terms of the testimony of the witnesses, the evidence admitted into the record, and the participation of the thirteen test property plaintiffs. Following from the trial, the Plaintiffs were required to submit a post-trial brief with the court, which we did on Wednesday June 26th. It is provided here.
As you will see in the brief, Upstream Lead Counsel laid out the extensive evidence on the Government’s knowledge and intent to use the upstream properties to store storm water behind the Addicks and Barker Dams during a heavy storm like Harvey. We demonstrated that the Government had considered, dating back to the 1970s, the possibility of acquiring more upstream real estate (or acquiring a flowage easement) on the upstream land, but consistently decided not to do so. The evidence at trial showed that the public purpose of the Addicks and Barker Dams was protect to property in downtown Houston and the ship channel, and that it did not provide any benefit to the upstream landowners. Needless to say, there is also copious evidence of the severity of the flooding, demonstrating that the facts of the case show a classic “taking” of private property for a public use without compensation.
Next, the Government will submit its post-trial brief on August 20th, and the plaintiffs will have the opportunity to file a reply. Judge Lettow will hold an oral hearing on September 13th, in Washington D.C., giving the parties and opportunity to argue their briefs and answer the Judge’s questions.
We will provide updates by email as the briefs get filed.
Reminder: Not too late to join!
We continue to get new clients day after day. And a lot of people ask whether it is too late to join the litigation. If you haven’t signed up so far, you are not too late. We would be happy to help. And we are positioned to provide the representation needed to protect the interests of all upstream flood victims.
As always, 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