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Flint water lawsuits consolidated into massive class-action civil suit

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Attorneys have consolidated nearly a dozen Flint water crisis class-action lawsuits and dozens of individual suits. They filed the paperwork with a federal judge on Friday.

The new, consolidated lawsuit seeks damages connected to the decision to switch and keep the city of Flint’s tap water flowing from the Flint River. The city’s drinking water source was switched in 2014. But the river water was not properly treated, resulting in numerous issues, including corrosion that damaged pipes, which released lead into the drinking water. The city’s water source was switched again in late 2015.  

The consolidated class-action lawsuit claims negligent and unconstitutional behavior of government officials, including Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and private contractors that has had devastating health effects on about 100,000 Flint residents and water users.

The massive civil suit can now begin the long process through the federal courts. The suit is seeking damages for people who suffered health problems by being exposed to Flint’s lead tainted tap water, as well as for property damage. 

Ted Leopold is co-lead attorney, representing potentially 100,000 Flint residents.

“We now have the opportunity to begin the litigation and begin to move it quite expeditiously,” says  Leopold.

But expeditiously doesn’t exactly mean quick. Leopold thinks it will take another two years at least to bring the case to a jury trial. 

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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