McCaskill: farmers' lawsuit against levee blast will be difficult to win

May 4, 2011

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says that while she sympathizes with southeast Missouri farmers whose land has been swamped by the Birds Point levee breach, a lawsuit filed on their behalf against the federal government will be difficult to win.

The lawsuit claims the government violated the farmers' rights by taking their land without adequate compensation.

Citing earlier decisions from Judge Stephen Limbaugh and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito siding with the Army Corps of Engineers, McCaskill says she doesn't think the farmers can win the lawsuit.

"From a perspective of having judges that are probably not leaning towards letting the government do much of anything, the notion that these judges sided with the Army Corps of Engineers and their authority to do this does not bode well probably for the lawyers that are representing the farmers," McCaskill said.

The Army Corps of Engineers has said the flowage easements attached to the farmers' property deeds allowed them to breach the levee.

The Corps began detonating the levee on Monday night to lower the swollen Mississippi and protect the small Illinois town of Cairo.