Covering Louisiana

Jan 13, 2014 12:01 PM by AP

Jury selection begins in Katrina flooding case

GRETNA, La. (AP) - Jury selection is underway in a civil trial over claims that Jefferson Parish's evacuation of drainage pump operators on the eve of Hurricane Katrina's landfall led to the flooding of thousands of homes.

A state District Court judge began questioning an initial pool of about two dozen prospective jurors on Monday.

Parish lawyers have argued the trial should be moved to a different parish, but plaintiff lawyers say a jury of Jefferson residents can fairly evaluate the case.

Former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard is serving a prison sentence in North Carolina for an unrelated corruption conviction and is not expected to testify in person about the decision to carry out the parish's "Doomsday Plan" and evacuate more than 200 pump operators as Katrina approached in August 2005.

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