We went down to the Corps of Engineers office to review about 100 of their boxes with the hope of locating some items that had been referenced in deposition testimony which were not in the items produced by the government. We found several upstream inundation maps that clearly demonstrate as early as the year 2000 that the Corps studied exactly which upstream homes near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs would be flooded. We have not seen any indication that these maps were ever shared with the public.
Co-Lead Counsel Armi Easterby said, “I have found several ‘smoking guns’ in my legal career, and these maps are some of the best I’ve seen. We are getting all of these maps copied this weekend, and will be using them and some depositions next week and at trial.”
The Federal Government filed a motion to stay the February trial several times and has been denied. Justice delayed is justice denied. We look forward to the upcoming trial and will be posting any updates.
Update: Due to the government shut down Judge Lettow has suspended the deadlines and case which means that once the shutdown ends the case will automatically come back online.
Armi said it best, “I’m disappointed but not discouraged — the Government may be shut down but Williams Hart isn’t. We’ll make good use of the extra time by making a strong case even stronger.”
Thursday, August 17th
The National Hurricane Center issues advisories on Tropical Depression #9. By noon it is a tropical storm named Harvey.
Friday, August 18th
Harvey passed over the Windward Islands but with a max wind speed of only 40 mph. It was unclear where it would end up. No one could have known that the 19 trillion gallons of water that would soon fall over Texas.
Saturday, August 19th
Harvey weakens and is only a “tropical wave,” which is even less than a tropical depression. Weather forecasters determine that there was only a “low chance” of regeneration.
Armi has also personally negotiated hundreds of oil spill claims and has collected in excess of $50 million for eligible claimants from previous disasters. Armi lives in Houston with his wife and 5 children. He is active in giving back to his community and passionate about the mentoring younger attorneys.
Most of Armi’s cases have centered around situations where a large company has taken advantage of a small family business. “The ‘David and Goliath’ theme is almost always present in my cases,” Armi says, “I know people like to make lawyer jokes and criticize our court system, but time and time again I’ve seen the civil justice system as the only recourse my clients have. It is gratifying to see a small company take on a Fortune 500 company in front of a jury.”
Hundreds of home and business owners have filed claims against the Army Corp of Engineers for their “controlled release” of water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs. While many people lived in floodplains and were flooded during Harvey many of the neighborhoods upstream of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were not in the 100 or even 500 year floodplain. These homes had no prior experience of flooding. As such many families were not required to purchase the flood insurance required for floodplain zoned homes. These families experienced up to neck-deep water without any warning. Cases in which average Americans have been harmed by a much larger entity is Armi’s specialty. His experienced legal team is working to get the victims of upstream reservoir flooding back on their feet.
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