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Ackerson v. Bean Dredging LLC

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20270
Nos. No. 07-30272, (5th Cir., 11/25/2009)

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a class action against 32 contractors hired by the United States to perform dredging activities in the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) for damages suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The dredgers acted pursuant to contracts with the U.S. government under authority granted by an act of Congress, and the class does not allege that the contractors exceeded their congressional authority or in any way deviated from Congress' direction or expectations. Instead, the allegations attack Congress' policy of creating and maintaining MRGO, not any separate act of negligence by the contractors. Accordingly, the contractors are entitled to government-contractor immunity.