Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Inquiry to Seek Cause of Levee Failure

The Louisiana Attorney General said Tuesday that he had begun examining why the New Orleans levees failed during Hurricane Katrina, partly to increase the chances that people who lost their homes will be compensated for their losses.

Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr. said in an interview that his review could lead to a civil suit to prove that levee design or construction errors caused the flood damage.

A favorable ruling in such a lawsuit could make it easier for those with heavy losses to collect damages from engineering firms and construction companies found negligent in the construction of the levee.

Mr. Foti said he also would examine whether shoddy workmanship contributed to the levee failures, leading to a possible criminal investigation if any evidence of that surfaced.

Last week, an engineering expert told a Congressional panel that malfeasance might have led to the levee failures, based on statements - still vague and uncorroborated - from a few former levee workers and their families.

Foti's taking on the US Army Corps of Engineers!

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