was not a natural disaster, but a preventable man-made travesty," the
attorneys said in a statement. "The government has always had a moral
obligation to rebuild New Orleans. This decision makes that obligation a matter of legal responsibility." -- CNN story
Here in Greater New Orleans, where people routinely talk about "the Federal Flood" and refer to the MRGO Canal as "the Hurricane Highway", the news isn't the facts of the case, but rather the judge finding legal liability.
If I understand the ruling correctly, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has legal immunity from being sued for damages from the failure of their mis-designed and mis-built levees, but not for the fact that the MRGO Canal channeled deep sea storm surge right into the heart of the city. This point alone is enough to make them culpable for the majority of the flooding of the Greater New Orleans area in 2005.
For those interested in details of what happened and why concerning the great flood, I reccomend the book Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of Katrina and the Disasters of Tomorrow. It also makes the point that rather than Greater New Orleans being unique in vulnerability, bad decisions by political and business interests have created no shortage of other engineering disasters waiting to happen.
YouTube video of one of the co-authors and members of levees.org at a reading/discussion at Octavia Books.