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September 11th, 2017

Hurricane Harvey dam releases could mean money for those affected.

Compensation may be available to you even if you don’t have flood insurance.

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers will be helping victims of the recent governmental decision to release the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs that left thousands of properties flooded and damaged. It is in our best interest to enforce the property rights of owners under the U.S. Constitution to the extent that their claims qualify. Learn to find out if you qualify for a Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claim.

If your home was flooded because of the Addicks and Barker Reservoir release, you may be protected under a law known as “inverse condemnation.” This means that you have the constitutional right to sue the government entities, in this case, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that made the decision to flood your home. To qualify, your home had to have been in the path of destruction, and you don’t even need flood insurance to be compensated.

The decision to release the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs was to prevent downtown and other parts of Houston from even greater catastrophic damage. While this may be the case, it doesn’t neglect the fact that property owners have certain rights protected under the U.S. and Texas Constitutions that disallows the government to take their property.

Inverse Condemnation

Plain and simple, the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution state that you have the right to be compensated if the government takes your property. The Texas Constitution states “no person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made, unless by the consent of such person.” This means you have an explicit right to be compensated if the government chooses to destroy your property for the greater good.

Do I qualify for an inverse condemnation case?

If you live downstream of the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs on the Buffalo Bayou or downstream of the Lake Conroe Dam on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, you likely qualify for an inverse condemnation case if your property flooded because of the government’s decision to release the dam.

What do I need to prove?

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers will help prove the following in your case:

  • 1. Intent: You must show that a “governmental entity knows that a specific act is causing identifiable harm or knows that the harm is substantially certain to result.” In cases of the dam releases during Harvey, you need to prove that the government knew that it’s act of releasing the dam was “certain” to cause harm in the area where your property was located.
  • 2. Causation: You must prove the government’s decisions resulted in the “taking of property.” In the Harvey case, you must prove your property was “taken” as a result of the dam release causing flooding and damage to your property. Pictures can help prove this.
  • 3. Public use: You have to prove that the government’s decision to release the dams were for the greater good and to protect the public.

How do I file?

Our firm is filing inverse condemnation claims for our clients. Please fill out the intake sheet provided and a representative will call you to discuss the process of filing a claim.



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