Determining Real Estate Damages from Natural Disasters: Real Estate Counseling in Class Action Litigation—Lessons from Hurricane Katrina

Winter 2012, Vol. 37, Nos. 2&3
Abstract: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of lawsuits, including two major class actions in Federal District Court, were filed against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local levee districts and others alleging negligence in the design and construction of the dike system protecting New Orleans. This case study discusses the role that real estate counselors working for the defendants played in addressing how the variations in property types, physical construction characteristics, uses, neighborhoods, flooding levels, and other factors caused property-by-property analysis (rather than class certification) to be a more fair and accurate way to determine damages.