Hurricane Harvey

Kingwood Homeowners Join Class Action Lawsuit

The class action lawsuit claims state and federal officials chose to protect some homes from flooding at the expense of others.

[CORRECTION: This story originally claimed the homeowners were joining a class action suit. However, the attorneys are representing the client’s claims individually. “There is no class action until a judge certifies a class and there’s no guarantee that will happen.” Says Charles Fletcher who works in the inverse condemnation department at Danziger & De Llano, LLP. “If client A had total damages of $123,450 then that is our target. If client B had $36,750 then that’s our goal for that case.” Said Fletcher.]

Kingwood homeowners are taking state officials to court over flooding that occurred during Hurricane Harvey. They’ve joined residents west of the city which are suing the federal government.

The lawsuits claims state and federal officials chose to protect some homes from flooding at the expense of others.

In legal terms it’s called inverse condemnation. Attorney Paul Danziger explains what that means.

“The state does not have the right to take your property without providing you, just compensation.” Danziger says.

Danziger says he’s representing over 300 homeowners so far that he believes deserve to be reimbursed for being flooded. The reason; when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the dams at the Barker and Addicks reservoirs, and the San Jacinto River Authority released water from Lake Conroe, they chose to take property by flooding it.

“United States Supreme Court has determined that a flooding is considered a taking. And once you have essentially taking by the state, we’re going to be alleging that the state must compensate the people for that take.” says Danziger.

When asked for their side of the story, the Army Corps of Engineers said they don’t comment on ongoing litigation and the San Jacinto River Authority didn’t respond to email and phone requests for comments. However, they have posted responses to many of the issues addressed in the lawsuit on their website.

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