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Federal Court allows Flint water lawsuits to move forward

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Class-action lawsuits against state and local officials involved in the Flint water crisis will go forward.

A federal appeals court reinstated claims against officials all the way up to Governor Rick Snyder.

The court dismissed claims against Governor Snyder in his official capacity, and against the departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services.  But plaintiff attorney Deborah LaBelle says the governor could still be found liable for the drinking water crisis.

“Although the governor cannot be sued in his official capacity as the head of the state, he can certainly be sued individually,” says LaBelle.

Also named are former emergency managers for Flint, a former mayor, the former director of the state Department of Environmental Quality, and the current director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, who also faces criminal charges.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s office issued a statement on Friday.

Attorneys for the City of Flint are reviewing the ruling to determine its impact and future steps regarding litigation. Mayor Weaver and her Administration remain focused on recovering from the water crisis and meeting the needs of Flint residents.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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