Missouri River Farmers/Businesses Sue U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Over Flooding

Mar 10, 2014

A claim has been filed by Polsinelli PC, based in Kansas City, Missouri, directly concerning the actions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in managing the Missouri River.

Attorney Seth Wright says they’ve filed a claim seeking compensation for losses suffered by individuals and businesses that were caused by recurring flooding along the Missouri River since 2006. 

There are more than 200 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, from five different states.  

Wright says the lawsuit is being filed under a clause in the Fifth Amendment that basically says the government cannot take your property without just compensation, also known as “Imminent Domain…”

"No one can take away your constitutional rights.  The government can’t do that. Those rights are guaranteed to each citizen, each person in the constitution.  We are not saying the Corps did anything improper or wrong or made bad decisions. That is not what our lawsuit is about.  They are authorized to do that and they were forced to make these changes by a lawsuit and by fish and wildlife.”

Wright says in 2006 the Corps made changes to its policies and practices of operating the Missouri river to the detriment of flood control and in favor of fish and wildlife. 

He says this change reversed 60 years of practices that had made flood control the #1 priority along the river. 

Experts outside of the case have said the Corps did its best in dealing with record amounts of water that flowed into the river after especially heavy rains.