Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said the decision gives the state of Michigan a “free pass.”
A federal judge has dismissed the state of Michigan and Gov. Rick Snyder from a consolidated class action brought over water contamination in the city of Flint, while allowing some claims to go forward.
Wednesday’s order, by U.S. District Judge Judith Levy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, significantly pared down the lead case brought on behalf of Flint residents who suffered health problems and businesses that saw diminished property values after government officials switched the source of their drinking water. But she kept several former state officials and the city of Flint in the case.
“During this period, some governmental officials disregarded the risk the water posed, denied the increasingly clear threat the public faced, protected themselves with bottled water, and rejected solutions that would have ended this crisis sooner,” Levy wrote.
Co-lead plaintiffs counsel Ted Leopold praised the decision.
“The case, for purposes of moving forward, is a lot cleaner and concise,” said Leopold, a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “The takeaway is the case is not going away. There are plenty of claims that survived that will be litigated, prosecuted and tried at the end of the day.”
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