In plaintiffs' case involving claims that defendant-federal government failed to provide the quantities of water that it agreed to make available under contract, trial court's judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded where: 1) trial court's determination with regard to the government's defense that Reclamation had implicit authority to reallocate the water in response to a change in law and policy is reversed as this was not a valid defense on the record; 2) trial court's determination with regard to the Government's defense that the shortages were the result of causes beyond the control of the United States such as to absolve it under the contract provisions is reversed as this was not a valid defense; 3) with regard to the sovereign acts doctrine defense, the trial court was correct in determining that defense unavailing; 4) trial court's dismissal of the takings claim is vacated as plaintiffs are free to pursue their takings claim if they so choose with regard to the years for which the government has been found not liable as a matter of contract law; and 5) regarding the breach of contract claim, the case is remanded for a determination of damages for the years for which the government was liable.
Appeal from: United States Court of Federal Claims
Decided September 30, 2009
Opinion by Plager, Circuit Judge.
For Appellant: Jennifer L. Spaletta, Herum Crabtree Brown