Trial Begins on Missouri River Lawsuit

A lawsuit involving several hundred landowners along the Missouri River vs. the U.S. government and the Army Corps of Engineers began in Kansas City on March 6. The class-action lawsuit alleges that the Corps de-emphasized flood control along the Missouri and changed its focus to habitat restoration. The plaintiffs claim this change in policy led to flooding, including historic flooding in 2011. The suit also claims that the Corps unconstitutionally took land without compensating landowners.

In papers filed in the case, the U.S. government said it never promised it could stop all flooding along the Missouri River. The Corps also said its work to provide habitat for three endangered species did not add to the flooding in 2011. The early stages of the trial will be held in Kansas City. The trial will move to Washington, DC, in April. A decision on the case isn’t expected until some time this summer. The League will continue to monitor this case.