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Michigan asks federal court to dismiss potential Flint water crisis lawsuit

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has filed a motion to dismiss a potential class action lawsuit in the Flint water crisis. The motion was filed Monday afternoon in federal court. Among other things, it claims the federal court lacks jurisdiction.

The suit is one of more than a half dozen lawsuits filed in state and federal courts seeking damages for Flint residents affected by the city’s lead-tainted tap water.  

Flint’s water became contaminated with lead after a state-appointed emergency manager decided to switch the city’s drinking water source to save money.    

The city and state failed to insure the water taken from the Flint River was properly treated. The corrosive river water damaged pipes, which continue to leach lead into the drinking water. 

Lead can cause serious lifelong health problems, especially in young children. 

In addition to the class-action suits, dozens of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individual plaintiffs seeking financial damages. 

Attorney Julie Hurwitz is part of the legal team that has filed three different class actions. She’s not impressed by the state’s legal arguments in its motion to dismiss their lawsuit. 

“(The motion) claims that even though it was a horrible thing that happened here. Too bad. You can’t sue us. We’re immune,” Hurwitz says with a fake laugh. 

Hurwitz says they plan to “vigorously” fight the motion to dismiss.

She expects eventually the courts will consolidate all the class-action suits into one.

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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