On Behalf of City Poisoned By Water, Michigan Residents File Suit Against Gov. Snyder

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Michigan residents who say they’ve suffered injury from drinking lead-contaminated water have filed a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder, the state, and the city of Flint.

Plaintiffs Doris Collins, Robin Pleasant, and Jason Phinisee, all Flint residents who paid for—and in some cases continue to pay for—undrinkable water, filed the suit (pdf) on behalf of approximately 31,000 household residents who have also been affected by the public-health crisis.

“”Since it’s clear that the Snyder administration cannot adequately address this crisis, it’s time the federal government stepped in.” —Lynna Kaucheck, Food & Water Watch

They say state and city officials all breached their contract to provide drinkable water, in return for payment, from April 2014 to the present. They charge that the “use of said funds without providing drinkable water as promised, constitutes unjust enrichment to the extent of the monies collected.”

In addition to Snyder, the suit specifically names former Flint emergency financial manager Darnell Earley and other former emergency managers.

The lawsuit also cites violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act, reading:

Prior to the time the State was forced to admit that it was responsible for poisoning the water, the State knowingly made false statements concerning the drinkability of the water. The State’s statements that the water was suitable was drinking water were acts that were unfair, deceptive and practiced in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

The legal action comes on top of a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as a separate class action lawsuit against the city, state and county, filed in November by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and National Resources Defense Council on behalf of the citizens of Flint, claiming officials had knowledge of dangerous levels of lead in the water but did nothing to protect the public health. ​

Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported this week that cases of the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ Disease have soared in Genesee County following the city’s move to the toxic water source.

Eighty-seven cases have been reported since June 2014—two months after the switch. Of those cases, 10 have resulted in death.

Legionella bacteria typically grows in warm water and can cause severe respiratory disease and lung infections. MDHHS said it “cannot conclude that the increase is related to the water emergency in Flint”—but is treating the situation with “urgency.”

The disturbing news is raising the alarm of residents, as well as high-profile activists.

“Legionella bacteria is transported by biofouled drinking water distribution systems, which Flint’s clearly is,” said renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich on her Facebook page on Wednesday. “Once again… I beg, plead… cry for the [Environmental Protection Agency] to get into the Flint drinking water investigation and stop with the denial; your continued silence has proven deadly.”

And filmmaker Michael Moore, who originally hails from Flint and has repeatedly called for Snyder’s arrest, declared on Twitter:

“The water crisis in Flint is a total abomination,” said Lynna Kaucheck, senior organizer for the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, in a statement released Thursday.

“Governor Snyder and his administration could have protected Flint residents, but instead they turned a blind eye, even assuring residents that their water was safe,” Kaucheck continued. “The situation in Flint is the very definition of a man-made public health crisis.”

Noting the ineptitude of current top officials, Food & Water Watch is calling for outsiders to take the reins before the situation gets even worse. “Since it’s clear that the Snyder administration cannot adequately address this crisis, it’s time the federal government stepped in,” Kaucheck concluded. “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should declare a state of emergency to give Flint residents the resources they so desperately need.”

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Contributed by Deirdre Fulton & Sarah Lazare of Common Dreams.

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  • Right to the Point

    They actually need to sue the Michigan “Department of Environmental Quality.”

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Why would anyone still be drinking water from a tap in this day and age?

    • Reverend Draco

      Because bottled water tastes dead?

      Because all of the water bound up in soft drinks, “adult beverages,” and sequestered in plastic bottles is water that’s out of the system – and people wonder why Cali is in the middle of a drought. . .

      Isn’t there some reality show you could be watching instead of spewing random nonsense?

      • sunshine

        How do you filter your tap water? I want to get rid of flouride but can’t seem to find a filter that does that.

        • Razedbywolvs

          • sunshine

            Thank you!

        • Reverend Draco

          I’m on a well.

          • sunshine

            Oh well then you’re lucky. Well water is the best.

          • Reverend Draco

            It certainly is. . .

            That’s what I got my start on, when I was a kid – and so glad to be back on a well, you have no idea

          • twinkiedooter

            now I have access to a underground aquifer by way of a spring. Go to FindASpring.com and see if there is a public spring near you that you too can obtain clean, fresh,ALIVE water for yourself. I love my spring water. It makes great coffee, tea, cooking water, etc. I can’t use it to water my plants as it has too many natural minerals in it and literally fries the plants indoor and outdoor. Be sure to bring your own jugs to carry your water home with you. Free is better!!!

          • sunshine

            Thank you!!

        • GRae

          There’s a filter to rid fluoride and any others. Look into
          Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System@www.infowars.com under Store – health & wellness – water filtrations.

        • You can soak your water in Tulsi leaves also.

          • sunshine

            I’ve never heard of Tulsi leaves….

          • It’s the only plant in the world the exhales Ozone(O3) instead of Carbon Dioxide(CO2), it will literally clean the air in your home. It is the most revered plant in AYURVEDA. It is used to remove fluoride from water in poor countries around the world, especially in areas where fluorosis is prevelant.

        • twinkiedooter

          I had a whole house filter in South Florida that was a charcoal tank that had a back flush system in it. It would filter out a lot of stuff from the water I had from a private water company that used crap water to begin with. Worth every cent I paid for it. The tank was about 5 feet tall and made out of fiberglass.

          • sunshine

            When we get our own house I plan on getting a great water filtering system like that. FL tap water is awful, I don’t know why because we’ve got so many springs!

  • Cryptic

    Stand up, do your part! in your streets.

    Know this much
    yTfHfEy ? vFjEjDjEjRjAjLv $ tGtOtVtEtRtNtMtEtNtTt % gAoRoEg # yTpHpEy * hDqOqMqEqSqTqIqCh – pTdEdRdRdOdRdIdSdTp
    cTvIvMvEc ? oTrOo * sGvOs ? zTkOz + uWnAnRu ? bWpIpTpHb ? tTwHwEwSwEt % tFiUiCiKiEiRiSt
    g2g % iOcFi # wTfHfEw $ nAkMkEkRkIkCkAkNn $ vPkEkOkPkLkEv : uCgAgNu * pWdIdPdEp $ zOoUoTz : kTzHzEk : eGsOsVsEsRsNsMsEsNsTe
    cLrIrTrTrLrEc * xDgOx * uTsHsEsYu # vKaNaOaWv | rTlHlElRlEr + hWzIzLzLh $ rBrEr + bAiTb * qLrErSrTq ? bExIxGxHxTxYb ~ dPlElRlClElNlTd | tAyFyTyEyRt $ pTcHcEcMp

    • Reverend Draco

      Nice incoherence.

      Get an education.

      • Cryptic

        change your Religious freak name

        • Reverend Draco

          I’d prefer you get an education – your brainless fuckwittery is getting old.

          • Cryptic

            yes you are getting old with the wording you use been watching you a long time now

    • Right to the Point

      You spelt Least wrong…..

      • Cryptic


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  • Reverend Draco

    “Governor Snyder and his administration could have protected Flint
    residents, but instead they turned a blind eye, even assuring residents
    that their water was safe,” Kaucheck continued. “The situation in Flint
    is the very definition of a man-made public health crisis.”

    Welcome to the Monopoly you demanded.

    • Cryptic

      Talk about incoherence Pentagram for a pic and religion you sir are a Pile of dun

      • Reverend Draco

        Says the polesmoker whose education is so lacking that he can’t tell a pentagram from a not-pentagram.

        I’ll tell you what – go back to 3rd grade, take a geometry class. . . and get back to me if you ever pass the class.

        Not like I’m gonna hold my breath or anything – this could conceivably take decades.

        • Cryptic

          tell you what jack-wagon

          vSbObMbEv – fOiNiEf : zWqIqLqLz $ pSiHiOiViEp & qAq : mRgEgDm % xHdOdTx & rPrOrKrErRr & sUrPs ? qTiHiAiTq – qFlAlGlOlTq + wAxSxSw : hOeFh : tYeOeUeReSt & hSuOuOuNh

  • AllodialTitle

    Snyder: GUTLESS PO……you know

  • Truthsetsyoufree

    WTF! They’re poisoning the people of Michigan?

  • Tatiana Covington

    In 2016, there’s no excuse for bad water, not in this country.

  • Barn Cat

    It’s the city’s problem. The state has no responsibility.

  • twinkiedooter

    Whoever decided to disconnect from Detroit should be hung or fired from Flint. That is worse than genocide. Why aren’t they indicted and put in jail? WTF? Do they get to skate for making a horrible decision or do they go to jail? Why isn’t anyone in Flint screaming for their heads?