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Ideker Farms, Inc. v. United States

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20039
Nos. 14-183L, (Fed. Cl., 03/13/2018) (Firestone, J.)

In a 259-page opinion, a federal claims court held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for causing recurrent flooding along the Missouri River. Farmers, landowners, and business owners filed takings claims against the government, arguing that the Corps' management of the Missouri River resulted in the flooding of their farms and property and that they were due just compensation. Total damages as a result of that flooding were estimated to exceed $300 million. The court held that a majority of the plaintiffs established causation, foreseeability, and severity. Their claims will proceed to the next phase of the litigation, where the court will decide whether the United States has any defenses to their claims. The court will also decide other legal and factual issues associated with proving entitlement to just compensation. Another group of plaintiffs established causation and foreseeability but not severity. At the second phase of litigation, they will be required to establish severity in addition to responding to the government's defenses and proving entitlement to just compensation. The court dismissed claims for which plaintiffs failed to establish causation. Ideker Farms, Inc. v. United States, No. 14-183L, 48 ELR 20039 (Fed. Cl. Mar. 13, 2018) (Firestone, J.).