A U.S. judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers was negligent in maintaining a key navigational channel in New Orleans and was liable for some damage caused by massive flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


It was the first time a U.S. court has found the federal government directly responsible for some of the damage caused on Aug. 29, 2005, when Katrina flooded 80 percent of New Orleans and caused about $80 billion in damage.


If upheld, the ruling could set a precedent for thousands of other plaintiffs to sue the government for billions of dol--lars in damages.