Hurricanes Don’t Affect Immunity, Court Rules

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – Eleventh Amendment immunity applies to states, not parishes, and the Constitution does not include a “special rule for hurricanes,” the 5th Circuit ruled.

     The court denied immunity to St. Tammany Parish after the parish was sued by contractor Omni Pinnacle and subcontractor United Disaster Response for failing to pay the full amount for post-Hurricanes Katrina and Rita repairs.
     The 11th Amendment limits jurisdiction only to lawsuits against a state, the court ruled, not suits against counties and parishes. The parish is not an “arm of the state” and does not become a state merely by cooperating with one, the ruling states.
     The circuit also said the state is not required to indemnify any judgment against the parish. See ruling.

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