Roughly 489,000 claims have been filed against the federal government over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following Hurricane Katrina – and one of the plaintiffs is seeking damages in the quadrillions. Seriously.
According to the Associated Press, a person from Baker, La. is seeking $3,014,170,389,176,410, which amounts to a little over $3 quadrillion dollars, to compensate for troubles ever since the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane rolled through.
Of roughly 489,000 total claims, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it has received 247 for at least $1 billion apiece, including the one for $3 quadrillion.
Some residents may have grossly exaggerated their claims to send a message to the corps, which has accepted blame for poorly designing the failed levees.
“I understand the anger,” Scott said. “I also understand it’s a negotiating tactic: Aim high and negotiate down.”
Daniel Becnel, Jr., a lawyer who said his clients have filed more than 60,000 claims, said measuring Katrina’s devastation in dollars and cents is a nearly impossible task.
“There’s no way on earth you can figure it out,” he said. “The trauma these people have undergone is unlike anything that has occurred in the history of our country.”
The corps released zip codes, but no names, for the 247 claims of at least $1 billion. The list includes a $77 billion claim by the city of New Orleans. Fourteen involve a wrongful death claim. Fifteen were filed by businesses, including several insurance companies.