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High Court Says Government Can Be Liable For Flood

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government is not automatically exempt from paying for damage caused by temporary flooding from government-owned dams.

The court on Tuesday sided with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in its appeal of a lower court ruling that said the federal government did not have to pay for damage to thousands of trees after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released more water than usual from its dam on the Black River. The release of additional water benefited farmers, but the commission said its hardwood forest suffered significant damage.

The commission said the damage amounted to the government taking its property, for which compensation would be owed under the Constitution.

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