Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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A group of landowners and farmers (collectively “landowners”) filed an October 10th lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas against Lawrence County, Arkansas. See No. : 3:17cv272-DPM.

The landowners’ lawsuit addresses a bridge they state was built by the County over the West Cache River Slough (“Slough”).

The Complaint alleges that the County replaced a wooden bridge with a:

. . . crude dirt and concrete embankment that had four rail boxcars acting as culverts to pass the entire flow in the Slough.”

The landowners allege in part that:

  • The bridge was built without consulting an engineer, architect, or hydrologist
  • Significant and obvious defects would have been identified by an engineer, architect or hydrologist
  • Logs, debris and sediment limit water flow and have caused flooding on the landowners’ property causing damage
  • A Clean Water Act 404 Permit was not obtained from the U.S. Corps of Engineers prior to construction
  • The Corps granted the County a 404 “after-the-fact” Permit which was premised on maintenance and clearing of debris

The Causes of Action alleged in the Complaint include:

  • Violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
  • Public Nuisance (Ark. Code Ann. § 14-268-105)
  • Declaratory Judgment (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-15-703)
  • Inverse Condemnation
  • Violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983

The landowners request:

  • Damages for “lost crops and property values that have been destroyed”
  • Enjoin the County to remove the bridge and allow free flow of floodwaters and debris through the Slough unimpeded
  • Attorney fees, costs and recovery of expert fees

A copy of the Complaint without the exhibits can be downloaded here.