Government immune in Katrina litigation – earlier panel opinion withdrawn

Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit largely affirmed a series of rulings about governmental immunity in litigation about flood damage from Hurricane Katrina, allowing some cases to proceed and finding the government immune as to others.  On rehearing, the Court found that the “discretionary-function exemption” to the Federal Tort Claims Act created immunity even if the Flood Control Act did not.  In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation at 25-26 (Sept. 24, 2012) (“Our construction of the FCA leaves undisturbed the district court’s ruling on that issue.  Our application of the DFE, however, completely insulates the government from liability.”).

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