Local business, govt. leaders join class action suit against Arm - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Local business, govt. leaders join class action suit against Army Corps

The Union County board of commissioners is among those joining the class action suit against the Army Corps of Engineers. The Union County board of commissioners is among those joining the class action suit against the Army Corps of Engineers.

The flooding along the Missouri River in the summer of 2011 cost cities and towns, up and down the river, a lot of money.

A law firm, in Missouri, says it will sue the federal government—specifically the Army Corps of Engineers—to get money to cover the losses.

A law firm in Saint Joseph, Missouri thinks the U-S Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for some of the damage done by the rising Missouri River in 20-11. They've decided to file a class-action suit, and will be joined by several communities along the Missouri River.

For South Sioux City city administrator Lance Hedquist, the decision to jump in seemed like an easy one.

"I think the attorneys certainly feel confident that they will be successful, so they've taken on a big undertaking, with this action they're taking," said Hedquist.

Joining the lawsuit won't cost the city a thing, as the law firm is taking on all of the up front costs itself. If they win, the firm will get about a-third of the settlement.

We thought it was justifiable on behalf of the taxpayers of South Sioux City to take this action," said Hedquist.

Union County, South Dakota, leaders have also voted to join the lawsuit. In Sioux City, "Bev's on the River" has recovered from the flood, but they're still out a lot of money.

"$2 million in revenue and another $1 million in damages," said Jesse Miller, COO for Bev's.

So, management decided they could get on board, as well.

"We decided to get into the lawsuit. It's a class-action lawsuit and decided there's no up front costs to it and see what becomes of it," said Miller.

Miller says he's willing to wait this one out to, and he's doing so with cautious optimism.

"This would just be payback from all those losses that we've already written off. So, it'd be a great surprise if anything came of it," said Miller.

With millions potentially at stake for cities like South Sioux, and businesses like Bev's, Hedquist is confident that the attorneys will be able to present a compelling case, even if it takes a little bit of time.

"From a taxpayer's standpoint, it'd be foolish not to apply and try to get funds," said Hedquist.

Even with no time frame for a judge to hear the case, it's a battle Hedquist says the city is ready for. The Army Corps of Engineers' spokesperson says the agency can't comment on the suit.

Sioux City's City Attorney Nicole Jensen-Harris said at this time the city has no plans to join the lawsuit.

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