In both Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda, private property owners on the north side of Interstate 10 suffered never-before-seen flooding. In both occasions, the flooding appears to have been caused by the highway’s construction and operation such that I-10 acted as a dam by restricting the natural flow of runoff water.
We have filed suit against the State of Texas over highway-induced flooding in Chambers, Liberty, and Jefferson Counties. The legal theory is straightforward: Under both the Texas and Constitution the government cannot take private property for a public use without providing “just compensation.” Typically, the government will ask the courts to authorize a condemnation proceeding and set the amount of compensation. This allows private property owners to challenge the taking and seek the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
When a government entity “takes” the property without consulting the courts or offering any compensation, this also violates constitutional rights and allows them to file what is called an “inverse condemnation” lawsuit seeking “just compensation” for their losses.
“Just compensation” is the value of the property of which the owner has been deprived. Not all losses are compensable. The proper amount of damages depends on the particular circumstances in each case. We will assert that the government should pay just compensation for the “direct, natural, or probable results” of the State’s actions. This might include compensation for diminished property values, the “cost to cure” (or repair) damaged improvements, and damaged personal property.
You need to sign up with an attorney. We are here to investigate your claims and, if appropriate, file your claims in court. Please contact us to tell us that you want to participate, and we will discuss the case with you.
If you just wish to be added to our email list for updates, please submit your contact information here. Please understand that you only become one of our clients by signing an engagement letter with us. Without a signed engagement letter, we do not represent you.
Resolving these claims will take substantial time because it involves complex litigation against the government. Depending on the exact size of the case, the potential cost to the government may be substantial. All of those factors mean the case will take time. Please be wary of anyone promising quick results.
Nothing. The lawyers will cover all expenses and will recover a fee only if we obtain a successful result. There is no fee to the client unless we recover in this action.
Our team comprises attorneys with significant flooding cases from Burns Charest LLP, Irvine & Conner PLLC and, Dunbar & Harder, PLLC. The most recent work by these lawyers was winning a trial victory on liability for a federal takings case relating to flooding during Hurricane Harvey, In re Upstream Addicks and Barker Flood-Control Reservoirs, No. 1:17-cv-09001-CFL, in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Read more here.
Burns Charest LLP. Founded in 2015 by two former Susman Godfrey LLP partners in Dallas and an environmental and complex litigation lawyer in New Orleans, Burns Charest currently serves as lead or co-lead in complex cases throughout the country. Burns Charest has two offices, twenty-seven attorneys, and a large staff of paralegals and litigation support specialists. Daniel Charest and Larry Vincent serve as a co-lead counsel in the federal takings case relating to flooding during Hurricane Harvey, In re Upstream Addicks and Barker Flood-Control Reservoirs, No. 1:17-cv-09001-CFL, in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Irvine & Conner PLLC and Dunbar & Harder, PLLC. Attorneys with Irvine & Conner and Dunbar & Harder, PLLC regularly handle technical flooding and drainage cases. Charles Irvine served as a co-lead counsel in the federal takings case relating to flooding during Hurricane Harvey, In re Upstream Addicks and Barker Flood-Control Reservoirs, No. 1:17-cv-09001-CFL, in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. And, in addition to being an attorney, Larry Dunbar has been a registered professional engineer in Texas since 1983, and has served as a flood expert witness in that capacity in numerous state and federal judicial and administrative proceedings.