< back to news

Texas Highway Flooding Case Before the United States Supreme Court

Texas Highway Flooding Case Before the United States Supreme Court

Oral Argument before the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. took place yesterday on behalf of Texas landowners’ right to sue the State of Texas under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs, represented by Burns Charest LLP in the class action, are landowners in Chambers, Liberty, and Jefferson Counties whose land is adjacent and upstream to a concrete wall along Interstate 10 that was built by TXDOT to protect the highway from floodwaters to allow evacuation routes. However, the wall retained water which led to mass flooding of the homeowners land in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found in Plaintiffs’ favor that their claims, based on the US Constitution, could continue in federal court. But that ruling was overturned by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari this term and, after briefing on the merits, heard argument. Media reports indicate that several justices showed signs of support for Plaintiffs’ position.

Plaintiffs lawsuit was original filed by Daniel Charest and Larry Vincent of Burns Charest LLP and Charles Irvine of Irvine & Conner PLLC.

Oral argument on behalf of the plaintiffs was led by Robert McNamara of the Institute for Justice.

The case is Richard Devillier et al. v. Texas, case number 22-913, in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Audio from the oral argument found HERE.

For further news coverage see Law360.