CONDEMNATION NEWS: Hurricane Harvey Flood Claims Proceed – No Governmental Immunity

In an opinion issued December 4, 2018, the Houston Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas affirmed the denial of motions to dismiss on grounds of Governmental Immunity,allowing inverse condemnation and statutory takings claims to proceed against the San Jacinto River Authority for Hurricane Harvey dam releases and flooding. San Jacinto River Authority v.Burney, et al., ___ S.W.3d ___________, 2018 WL 6318506 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.], December 4, 2018, no pet.)

The Court specified that the landowners had sufficiently pleaded the takings claims, concluding that the pleadings included adequate facts to allege the River Authority’s release of water from Lake Conroe was intended to, or was known to be substantially certain to, result in flooding of the homeowners’ specific properties.

The case will undoubtedly be appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas.