Local Landowners Win Appeal in Missouri River Lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, MO – A ruling handed down from the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the victory of 370 property owners in northwest Missouri against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The court found the government bears responsibility for widespread flooding that has affected the landowners since 2007. Regulations put in place by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were found to put more emphasis on habitat restoration instead of flood control, thereby causing the devastation as the Missouri River flooded nearby land.

The plaintiffs claimed flooding damaged their property and farms.  The appellate court affirmed the lower court rulings that the government violated the affected property owners Fifth Amendment rights prohibiting the taking of private property without just compensation.

The government has the option to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are seeking damages through the mass action lawsuit in the form of compensation for damages and a change in river management policy to reduce the threat of future flooding.