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$150 Million Class Action Filed against Flint, Michigan
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Summary: The people of Flint, Michigan are suing the governor, the city, and the state for their contaminated water. 

The citizens of Flint are fighting back against the people who poisoned their water with a $150 million class action suit. M Live reports that they are suing Michigan governor Rick Snyder, his emergency managers, the state, and the city.

  
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Flint is located about 60 miles from Detroit. When the water contamination occurred in 2014, the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager who switched the city’s source of water from the Detroit system to the Flint River. Flint switched back to Detroit’s water during October 2015 when blood samples found high levels of lead in children.

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Governor Snyder apologized for how he handled the matter, and state environmental officials and the Head of the Flint Water Treatment Plant resigned. In January, it was reported that the state hired two attorneys to probe what had happened to give Flint citizens answers.

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Baltimore attorney William “Billy” Murphy Jr. is representing the plaintiffs. He said that $75 million would refund 30,000 Flint citizens’ water bills and the other $75 million would aid in any damage that the polluted water caused to pipes, water heaters, pumps, and other equipment.

Murphy said that a refund should have been given “just as an act of Christian charity” but it was an “insult to injury” that the citizens were forced to pay for “dangerous, dirty, non-drinkable, non-usable water.”



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The lawsuit also said city officials lied about the water’s safety. One example of their alleged knowledge of the water’s toxicity was that officials received bottled water when they told Flint residents that the brown, murky water was safe to consume.

Murphy is working with attorneys Susan L. Burke and Val Washington on the class action suit.

In addition to this class action, representatives in Washington DC are trying to get funds for the people of Flint. Yahoo reports that Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow is pushing for $600 million in federal aid, and Representative Candice Miller proposed an emergency bill for $1 billion to replace Flint’s water pipes.

This week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that they will join a broad criminal investigation in regards to the contamination. According to Yahoo, the intention is to discover whether or not laws were broken to cause this disaster. The FBI is working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General, the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, and federal prosecutors.

Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University, told Yahoo it would be difficult to seek criminal charges under U.S. environmental law. Prosecutors would have to find something egregious like a lie in order to build a case. Officials not recognizing the problem is not enough.

Source: M Live

Source: Yahoo

Photos courtesy of Instagram



 

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