A federal judge in Texarkana, Ark., dismissed 11 civil lawsuits Tuesday (March 28) connected to the historic 2010 flood at Albert Pike campgrounds in the Ouachita National Forest that took the lives of 20 men, women and children, the Texarkana Gazette reported.
U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey issued an 18-page opinion ruling that the government is immune from the suits because of the Arkansas Recreational Use Statute, and shot down arguments from the plaintiffs’ lawyers that exceptions outlined in the law should allow the civil actions to go forward.
In the pre-dawn hours of June 11, 2010, the depth of the Little Missouri River rose from 3 to 23 feet in a matter of hours. Recreational vehicles, cars, asphalt, concrete picnic tables and campers were swept away by the roiling water. Roughly half of those who lost their lives were from Texarkana and surrounding areas.
Eleven lawsuits were filed after the flood in federal courts in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, which were eventually consolidated into one action before Hickey.
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