The feds could be on the hook for billions of dollars in claims after a ruling by a federal judge finding that negligence by the Army Corps of Engineers led to massive flooding in the hours after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval opened the door for thousands of claims against the Corps when he awarded seven plaintiffs $720,000 in damages, ruling that the Corps' failure to maintain a navigation channel led to the flooding.

For more on the ruling and what it could mean for residents who lost everything to Katrina, click here.

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