This morning (March 7), seven Flint families filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that state and local leadership “negligently and recklessly exposed the entire population of Flint, including plaintiffs and the class, to devastating and irreversible health problems” when it failed to replace pipes that were delivering lead-tainted water to homes.
The suit defines the class as all residents who have been harmed by the defendants’ alleged Safe Drinking Water Act violations, those who have tested positive for lead, those who have experienced personal injury and anyone who owned or rented property in Flint since April 25, 2014.
It specifically names the following defendants:
- Rick Snyder, Michigan governor
- State of Michigan
- City of Flint
- Daniel Wyant (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, MDEQ, director)
- Liane Shekter Smith (MDEQ Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance chief)
- Adam Rosenthal (MDEQ water quality analyst)
- Stephen Busch (MDEQ district supervisor)
- Patrick Cook (MDEQ water treatment specialist)
- Michael Prysby (MDEQ engineer)
- Bradley Wurfel (MDEQ director of communications)
- Darnell Earley (Flint emergency manager)
- Gerald Ambrose (Flint emergency manager)
- Dayne Walling (former Flint mayor)
- Howard Croft (Flint director of public works)
- Michael Glasgow (Flint utilities administrator)
- Daughterty Johnson (Flint utilities administrator)
- Three corporations that conducted water supply feasibility studies and otherwise allegedly contributed to the water crisis
NPR reports that there are at least three other pending lawsuits, including one filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Concerned Pastors for Social Action and the National Resources Defense Council in January. The suit filed today seeks a declaration that the defendants violated the law, changes to the system to remove the lead, the establishment of a medical monitoring fund, the appointment of a monitor to oversee the city’s water operations, as well as general, compensatory and punitive damages.
In related news, Michigan Radio reports that after waiting to receive state and federal funds, the city of Flint took out a $25 million loan to remove the lead pipes. The first of an estimated 8,000 lead service lines was removed on Friday (March 4). “Right now, we’re waiting for money to come. So this is something to help us jump start that and get us going,” says Flint mayor, Karen Weaver. “We can’t wait.”