Hurricane Katrina Levee Breach - Appeal, In Re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation,

On April 30, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of all claims against a defendant contractor Boh Bros Construction Co., and several engineering defendants including Modjeski and Masters, Inc. and Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc., in the Hurricane Katrina levee breach consolidated litigation in federal court in New Orleans. Over 300,000 claims, asserting $400 billion in damages, were filed against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Orleans Levee District, and several contractors and engineering firms which were engaged in various projects in the outfall drainage canals in New Orleans before the August 2005 hurricane. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision that the Louisiana peremption statutes pertaining to engineers and contractors applied as a bar to the claims and that admiralty jurisdiction and federal maritime law did not apply. Charles F. Seemann, Jr., Francis J. Barry, Jr. and Terrence L. Brennan of Deutsch Kerrigan represented Burk-Kleinpeter, Modjeski, and Boh Bros., respectively. In Re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, U.S. 5th Circ. Appeal Nos. 07-30706, 07-30771, and 07-31141.