Dallas, TX trial attorney Daniel Charest talks about very important cases he was able to be a part of regarding Hurricane Harvey.
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In terms of ongoing cases that have, I think, personal and public significance the case that I’m really proud of being a part of is relates to the Hurricane Harvey flooding done in Houston. We are one of the co-lead counsel for the upstream cases and I won’t get into too many details but they’re fundamentally there was two aspects of the flood one behind the dams and one downstream of the dams and they call the ones behind the dams the upstream cases.
I got involved in that case with a former co-clerk of mine who runs, is a partner at a firm down in Houston and she and her husband are the two partners there. They both have very strong technical, they both have very strong specific practices that deal with flooding. And so, they got involved in the flooding cases very early on but they quickly learned that the mass exposure of the case, the hugeness of the case was more than they could handle. And so, they called me and asked if I could help out and of course, I was happy to do so.
At first, frankly, I was just helping them just because it was the right thing to do, you know. And that went on for a while and ultimately, they sought a leadership position and included us in that bid to be lead of those cases and the Court of Federal Claims, the chief judge selected us to be the lead counsel for these Hurricane Harvey upstream cases. So it’s we are one of a few, a handful of folks that are selected as such.
That case is first off, I mean it’s a massive case in terms of just the amount in play but it’s a massive case more importantly in terms of the personal effect it has on people. These are people like you an us, you and me that had their homes flooded. They had no idea, I mean I don’t know of a single client that knew that they were in a place that could flood and all of a sudden, they’re inside what the Corp of Engineers calls a reservoir and they had no idea. And their homes, you know their cars, their personal belongings were all flooded and taken away from them.
We are doing our level best to put them back to where they should be. And the law allows for what they call a just compensation and we’re trying to – and what that means fundamentally is getting back what the government took from you when it affected a taking. And then, that’s what we’re trying to do and I find, for me, the drive behind that case is, you know, it’s a real call on my civic duty in my mind and I’m really proud of the effort that we’re putting in to that case.
And when I talk to the clients, I get a range of emotion because these are people that are well, first off, they lost everything in many cases. There’s people that still haven’t, you know they’re still living in FEMA trailers of friend’s homes and still in complete disarray more than a year out. But on the other hand, they are very grateful. They are – I’m honored by their thanks of us for the work we’re doing.
And so, we take that very, very seriously and we’ve been working our tails off to get the job done and we’re looking forward to the trial and hopefully getting these people economically at least made whole the best we can. So that’s the Hurricane Harvey case and I’m really, really proud of it.