Alvin Livers lost his dream home when broken floodwalls unleashed a surge of water that inundated his New Orleans neighborhood during Katrina. Seven years later, Livers is one of several homeowners pressing to hold the Army Corps of Engineers and a contractor liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in flood damage.
Livers was the first witness at a federal trial for a lawsuit against the corps and Washington Group International Inc. The 70-year-old retired testified Wednesday that he and his wife lost everything when flood waters inundated their home in the city's Lower 9th Ward.
Plaintiffs' attorneys argue that excavation work by the corps and a contractor, Washington Group International Inc., caused the failure of floodwalls along the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal. The corps claims water from Katrina's rain and surge overtopped the floodwalls, causing the catastrophic breaches.
U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. will decide the case without a jury.