NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A judge's dismissal of many claims against the federal government over levee breaches in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina leaves few storm-related legal battles left to fight.
The ruling two weeks ago by U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. essentially was a formality. The fate of those cases was sealed more than a year ago, when a federal appeals court reversed itself and overturned Duval's landmark ruling that the federal government wasn't immune from lawsuits blaming flood damage on the Army Corps of Engineers' operation and maintenance of a New Orleans shipping channel.
Few major Katrina-related civil cases linger. A notable example is a jury trial scheduled to start this month for claims against Jefferson Parish over its evacuation of drainage pump operators just before Katrina's landfall.
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