Flint residents are seeking class action status in a suit against the city and the state of Michigan alleging that cost-cutting measures put their health in danger. When Flint was put under emergency financial management, the city’s water supply was switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River. The pipe corrosion that followed exposed residents to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water.
If you can’t trust your governor… I can’t finish that sentence. Flint, Michigan residents have every reason to distrust their governor. They’ve recently filed suit against the city and the state alleging that both entities put their health in danger. The claim states that the government exposed Flint residents to dangerous lead levels in drinking water.
To say that the cit of Flint has had some hard times economically is akin to saying that winter is cold. In 2014, Michigan governor Rick Snyder put the city under emergency financial management. As a cost-cutting effort, he also had the city switch its water supply from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April 2014.
Despite assurances that water from the Flint River was safe to drink, residents began experiencing health problems such as skin lesions and respiratory disorders. The city of approximately 99,000 was switched back to Detroit’s water system last month.
The suit claims that the damage has been done. Flint is an old city and many of its water pipes are made of lead. The claim is that the pipes and service lines were corroded by water from the Flint River, thus allowing lead into the water supply.
Residents are seeking class-action status for the suit, as well as compensatory & punitive damages, appointment of a monitor to oversee Flint’s water supply and the creation of a medical monitoring fund.
Just this week, the ACLU of Michigan and a nonprofit, the Natural Resources Defense Council stated that they would file suit too, if the damage isn’t repaired. Named defendants in the suit include Gov. Snyder and former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. The new mayor, Karen Weaver, who beat Walling in this month’s election, is not a named defendant. She is, however, listed as a possible defendant in the ACLU’s case.
Flint is located roughly 68 miles (109 km) northwest of Detroit.
This is a federal case titled Mays et al v. Snyder et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, No. 15-14002.