The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims filed by Hurricane Katrina flood victims against private companies that operated 22 dredging vessels along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MR-GO) pursuant to contracts with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the years preceding the hurricane. Petitioners alleged that several levee systems along the outlet failed during the hurricane as a result of negligent maintenance dredging operations by the private companies. The dredging companies had each filed complaints for exoneration from or limitation of liability. Those complaints and the various petitions were consolidated for this action. The court held that the dredging companies owed no duty to the claimants because the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina was not a foreseeable result of the allegedly negligent conduct of any of the limitation petitioners. In re Great Lakes Dredge & Dry Dock, No. 08-30738 (5th Cir., October 14, 2010).
(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)