Government Intentional Flooding – WTVM Legal Break with Attorney Gary Bruce

Now, answering your questions about the law and legal issues this is Legal Break with attorney, Gary Bruce Today we're talking about the flooding in Houston

Recently, the government intentionally flooded some areas in order to save other areas I guess to head off potential worse damage As a homeowner if I'm in the one area that they intentionally flooded, do I have any recourse against that? Well, that's I think what's come up That's what the topic really has become, alright, is who are these people to make a claim against; the homeowners insurance? That's the first place you go I guess And then, do I have a claim then also against the government? Was this a condemnation of my property for the benefit of all? So that's the kind of the theory, and I think it's pretty clever

They took my property for the benefit of the bigger hole Which is, you know, what they do when they condemn land for a pipeline, or expand our roadways, and that kind of thing So, the government then owes just compensation for what's been taken, but they do have the power of eminent domain So they've argued this was a de facto eminent domain condemnation of property, which might be easier to deal with than getting it out of your homeowners policy Because the homeowners doesn't necessarily cover flooding, you know, and any alleged act of God or all the defenses that come up

So you bring an action against the government saying you took my land So it's interesting, it’s clever, and it may work So, let's see well how would a decision like this maybe affect future? I know these kind of government deals affect future disaster relief Well, I think see, I think it will have an impact on decision making But I don't know, because how do you how do you question or criticize someone who makes a decision using the best information they have at the time

You know, we have a doctrine in kind of car wreck things, called sudden emergency If you make a decision to pull to the left and you should have pulled to the right and hindsight says, “if you pull to the right nothing would have happened” But you didn't have time to make that decision, then you're excused from liability Now you can't put yourself in the position to create your own emergency, but if it's a sudden emergency a deer jumps out, or something happens, and you make a decision that turns out to be the wrong one, then you may have a defense And so, I think that maybe partially if they claim negligence, you know, you could say whether it's the city official didn't do anything negligent, but it was still a government taking

So, I don't know it may end up changing the way people approach flooding cases They very well might So, interesting topic It is interesting It's interesting how it's evolved from Katrina

Katrina was not really a man-made decision, those were failures, there was negligence in the design of dikes So, we see the evolution of law Yeah, thank you so much for joining us today, Gary Looking forward to seeing you on the very next, Legal Break

Source: Youtube

Government Intentional Flooding – WTVM Legal Break with Attorney Gary Bruce

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