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story.lead_photo.caption A damaged camping area in the Albert Pike Campground June 14, 2010. A flash flood of the Little Missouri River caused the drowning June 11, of at least 20 people near the Albert Pike Campground in Montgomery County. - Photo by Rick McFarland

— A federal judge says that lawsuits over the deadly flash flooding at the Albert Pike campground in 2010 should be heard in Texarkana.

U.S. District Judge Donald Walter signed an order last week transferring two cases from Shreveport, La., into the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas.

Several civil lawsuits have been filed by relatives of the 20 people killed in the flash floods. The suits all cite negligence on the part of the U.S. Forest Service as the cause for the deaths.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that the government has filed motions to dismiss many of the cases, claiming the suits are barred under Arkansas’ recreational use statute and by sovereign immunity.

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  • TheBatt
    September 19, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.

    IF these cases result in a verdict against the U.S. Forrest Service, it will set a very dangerous precedent.

    First - the "sovereign immunity" is hard to get around.
    Second - What could the Forrest Service have done to prevent the tragic loss of life? They couldn't stop the water. They couldn't evacuate the people in that short time span. Looking at historic flood data, they had no actionable reason to close the part and run everybody out.

    But it comes back to this - you camp in a valley by a river/creek/etc. and stay when massive flooding rains come - don't be surprised if there is a flood.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for those who have lost loved ones. But I just don't see a case against anyone for losses.

  • Guzzler
    September 20, 2012 at 8:59 a.m.

    The case needs to be transferred to the morons of america for camping next to a river in a rainstorm, hell, my beagle has better sense