In a postscript to ill-fated damage claims made against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Corps has sent out about 565,000 letters formally notifying victims of those storms that their claims have been denied.
The Corps released a copy of the one-page letter Wednesday. It is signed by Corps chief counsel Earl Stockdale. He describes it as "the final administrative action" in claims against the Corps regarding Katrina- or Rita-related injuries, deaths or property damage blamed on faulty levees or badly maintained navigation channels.
Various court rulings have held that the Corps is immune from such claims. Key rulings dealt with lawsuits over the design and construction of federal levees and the Corps' maintenance of the now-closed Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.