Flint Residents Can Sue Federal Government for Lead Poisoning

According to a new ruling, Flint residents can sue the federal government for what many believe is its lax oversight of the city's water crisis.

According to a new ruling, Flint residents can now sue the federal government for what many believe is lax oversight of the city’s water crisis which had begun in 2014.

By Malcolm Speaks

A federal judge ruled that residents of Flint, Michigan can move forward with lawsuits that were filed against the US federal government for their failure to protect them from the poisoning of city water, according to CNN.

The lawsuits state that the Environmental Protection Agency was too slow to intervene in the crisis and US Judge Linda V. Parker ruled that the federal government is not immune from legal action in this case.

More than a dozen lawsuits, including class-action cases, were filed against Michigan and the City of Flint after it was verified that the city’s water had been contaminated with lead as early as of 2014. However residents’ drinking water continued to be contaminated and they were given misinformation about its safety. Even as of this year, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee stated that the city’s water quality is improving but he doesn’t trust that it’s safe to drink.

At least one lawsuit also clarified that the state hadn’t even treated the water with an anti-corrosive agent, which is in violation of US federal law.

“The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold,” Parker wrote in Thursday’s opinion and order. “It is anticipated, however, that the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come.”

The lawsuits also charge that the EPA “negligently responded to the water crisis,” according to the court ruling.

“The EPA was well aware that the Flint River was highly corrosive and posed a significant danger of lead leaching” into residents’ homes.

The EPA also knew the health risks posed by lead exposure and that local authorities “were not warning Flint’s residents that they were being supplied lead-laced water. Quite to the contrary, the EPA learned that State and local officials were misleading residents to believe that there was nothing wrong with the water supply,” the judge wrote.

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