Farmers, small business owners and other property owners along the Missouri River today filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging actions of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers. They are seeking damages caused by recurrent flooding along the river from 2006 to 2011.
Ideker Farms, Inc. et al V U-S of American was filed in the U-S Court of Federal Claims by Polsinelli PC based in Kansas City, Missouri and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC of Washington D-C on behalf of those in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota for damages sustained from one or more floods. The claims are brought under the Fifth Amendment for the unconstitutional taking of property without compensation. The Plaintiffs claim that for at least six decades prior to 2004, the U-S Corps of Engineers had prioritized flood control when managing operations of dams, reservoirs and other structures along the river. During that time floods were shorter and less frequent. Policy changed beginning in 2004 to conform river operations to environmental laws and regulations.
Co-Council for the Plaintiffs, Benjamin Brown says “The Constitution essentially says that if you are going to make people sacrifice their property for a public good like protection of native species of wildlife then you have to pay them just compensation.”