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Flint water crisis reaches 8th anniversary, as civil trial continues

faucet running water
Marina Shemesh
Public Domain
This week marks eight years since Flint’s ill-fated drinking water switch and a civil case tied to the Flint water crisis continues in a federal courtroom.

This week marks eight years since Flint’s ill-fated drinking water switch.

Meanwhile, a civil case tied to the water crisis continues in a federal courtroom in Ann Arbor.

The case involves damage claims on behalf of four children exposed to Flint’s lead tainted tap water. They’re suing two engineering firms — Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam — hired as consultants on Flint’s water system. The companies deny responsibility.

Former city water plant operator Mike Glasgow spent Monday on the witness stand. He testified that his bosses pushed ahead with the switch from Detroit water to the Flint River despite problems at the water plant.

Glasgow told the jury a test run of the city’s water plant showed new equipment and more employees were needed. He testified a month long test run left water plant employees burned out.

Glasgow is due back on the witness stand Tuesday.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys have a dwindling number of witnesses to call. A pair of expert witnesses are scheduled to testify next.

There are five other witnesses plaintiffs’ attorneys would like to call, but there’s a problem.

The five former government officials, including former Governor Rick Snyder, are asking a federal appeals court to allow them to invoke their right against self-incrimination. The five are all facing criminal charges related to the Flint water crisis.

The judge in the civil suit says since they didn’t invoke their right against self-incrimination during pre-trial depositions they can’t do it now.

But it’s unclear if the Sixth Circuit Court will weigh in before the plaintiffs run out of other witnesses to present.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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