The federal government is seeking to overturn a 2009 ruling that found the Army Corps of Engineers responsible for massive flooding after Hurricane Katrina because it failed to properly maintain a navigation channel.

Arguments over a landmark ruling by U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval were heard Wednesday by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The case focuses on the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a navigation channel on the eastern side of New Orleans. Duval ruled that the corps' shoddy work to maintain the channel led to the flooding of St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward.

Federal lawyers argued that the federal government is immune from liability as stipulated by the Flood Control Act of 1928.

The panel did not immediately rule.