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Flint Water Crisis Class Action Litigation Continues Against Water Engineering Firms

August 12, 2022



Non-Affiliated Bellwether Trial Ends in Mistrial

DETROIT – Yesterday, a federal judge in Michigan declared a mistrial in the first Flint bellwether trial in Walters, et al. v. Flint et al. (No. 5:17-cv-10164).  The trial focused on the two remaining defendants, both private engineering firm, who were actively involved in the Flint water crisis.

Simultaneously, the certified class action, In re Flint Water Cases (No. 16-cv-10444), which is being litigated by court-appointed Co-Lead Class Counsel, Theodore J. Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Michael Pitt of Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers, PC, before the same judge, the Honorable Judge Judith E. Levy, and against the same two private engineering firms, Veolia North America (VNA) and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN), continues to move forward to trial, which is currently scheduled for October 2023.

“Yesterday’s mistrial in a six-month trial was very unfortunate for the individual plaintiffs involved. However, the mistrial will not impact our upcoming certified class action trial.  While the cases do share some similar issues, there are many different questions that we will be presenting to a jury that were not addressed in the bellwether trial. Also, if conversations that took place with jurors after the declared mistrial are true, seven of the eight jurors were in favor of holding LAN and VNA responsible for actions, in particular professional negligence.” said Ted Leopold co-lead class counsel at Cohen Milstein.

 In re Flint Water Cases, was granted final approval of a landmark settlement against the State of Michigan for $625.25 million on November 10, 2021 by the same court. The litigation and settlement, also overseen by Leopold and Pitt, will go to benefit those residents of Flint who were impacted by the contaminated water and who are already proceeding through the Settlement Claims process. 80 percent of the funds will go to those individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crisis, with a large majority of that amount to be paid for claims of children aged 6 and younger. The remaining funds will go to special education services in Genesee County, adults, business owners and property owners for property damage.

For more information on In re Flint Water Cases, please visit the official Flint Water Justice website.

About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a premier U.S. plaintiffs’ law firm, handling high-profile and often precedent-setting litigation, including environmental toxic tort litigation. With over 100 attorneys across the country, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, New York, NY, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Philadelphia, PA, and Raleigh, NC. For additional information, please call (202) 408-4600.