October 26, 2017

A federal District Court judge is considering the scope of discovery material that could be released in the consolidated Flint water action lawsuit arising out of the 2014 water crisis. 

U.S. District Judge Judith E. LEVY in Detroit said Wednesday that she wanted to make a "reasoned decision" without trampling on the Fifth Amendment rights of some defendants -- whom also face criminal charges. The Fifth Amendment provides protection against self-incrimination.

That could be a difficult road as attorneys representing some of the accused told Levy that there is a gag order in the Genesee County cases that strictly prohibits the release of discovery material as it relates to the criminal cases.

Levy asked the attorneys to provide supplemental briefs on how their clients could be affected. She also ordered the attorneys representing upwards of 100,000 Flint residents, including children, and the defendants' attorneys to meet and draft recommendations on a repository for all documents and related evidence as well as how to preserve potential evidence from third parties, such as the lead pipes that delivered the toxic water to residents' homes.

The case was continued to Nov. 15.

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Theodore Leopold, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, attorney who represents some of the plaintiffs, said the defendants "want information from us, but we also need information from them."

The full article can be accessed here.