Some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina will finally get their day in court on Monday.
They're suing the Army Corp of Engineers for creating conditions that made the flooding so catastrophic.
The issue is a man-made, 76-mile shortcut between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.
Residents say it created an environmental disaster.
The government built the Marine Highway in the 1960's to shore up cargo business, but it sacrificed swamps and forest that once protected the area from storms.
If the government is held liable, it could open the door to billions in damages.
"If they win, Katie bar the door because the number of claimants out there for similarly situated money are in the tens of thousands," said Oliver Houck, a professor at Tulane University Law School.
The Army Corps main defense is that Katrina was so big that the shipping canal, even if it did destroy New Orleans natural defenses, had little impact on the storm's destructive power.