Between August 26 and 28 of 2017, more than fifty inches of rain fell over the greater Houston area during a period of less than four days. Despite the unprecedented storms, many homes did not flood until officials working for the Army Corps of Engineers made a decision to open the floodgates of the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. When that decision was made, the sun was shining, yet thousands of homes were inundated with floodwaters. Houses belonging to our friends and families – homes that had never before taken on water – were now flooded out for days, resulting in significant property damage not adequately covered by insurance or government aid.
This is the definition of inverse condemnation – a decision or action taken by the government that results in the taking of private property without the payment of just compensation. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the government to pay for the “taking” of property acquired for the benefit of the public. By opening the Reservoirs and sacrificing thousands of homes and businesses in west Houston, the United States government took private property and must pay the impacted owners just compensation.
The attorneys with the firm of Rothfelder & Falick, LLP have more than fifty years of experience prosecuting inverse condemnation cases against governmental entities on behalf of private property owners. We are committed to helping our friends and neighbors rebuild and recoup the value of what was lost as a result of the catastrophic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the releasing of the floodwaters from the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. Let us know if we can help you.