(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The fight continues for farmers across the Missouri River. Historical flooding in March reminded landowners why they are taking legal action against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and how they mismanage the Mighty Mo.
The main plaintiff, Roger Ideker, of Ideker Farms Inc., is suing the federal government for flood damage starting in 2007.
In 2007, the Bank Stabilization Navigation Project was altered between Sioux City and St. Louis to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Simply put, flood control was lowered on the Corps' priority list and protecting wildlife on the endangered species list was put at the top. Farmers believe this is what has caused major flooding of their land.
Polsinelli Law Firm is representing Roger Ideker and about 372 other farmers in Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Kansas. The suit stems from part of the Fifth Amendment that’s most commonly known as eminent domain that discusses how the government has to pay land owners if they seize their land. The suit alleges that the government is seizing land by forcing flooding onto private property.
In March of 2017, a judge ruled that the Corps caused flooding because of changing the Missouri River's flow. Now, for phase two of the lawsuit, lawyers have to prove past and future land damage due to flooding. The hearing is set for next week, while the tentative time for the trial is April 2020.