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Wed September 12, 2012
Katrina floodwall case heads to trial
The Army Corps of Engineers is back on trial, seven years after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge shredded New Orleans' flood protection system.
Starting Wednesday, a federal judge will hear testimony in a lawsuit by several homeowners who claim negligence by the corps and a contractor caused the failure of floodwalls protecting the Lower 9th Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish.
The corps says rain and storm surge overtopped floodwalls along the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal.
The case is before U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr., whose 2009 ruling in a separate Katrina-related case concluded the corps' shoddy work on a shipping channel left the same areas vulnerable to flooding.
If Duval rules for the plaintiffs again, the case could evolve into a class-action involving many more claims against the corps.