July 26, 2017

Cohen Milstein’s Ted Leopold Appointed to Oversee Cases Against Public and Private Defendants Implicated in the Flint Water Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, a leading national plaintiffs’ law firm, announced today that the firm has been appointed Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel for a group of class action lawsuits brought on behalf of Flint residents and businesses that have been harmed by exposure to toxic levels of lead and other hazards from the city’s drinking water.

On Wednesday, Judge Judith E. Levy of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan appointed Cohen Milstein’s Ted Leopold and Michael Pitt of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers PC as Interim Co-Lead Counsel for a group of related class action lawsuits filed in federal court. The decision creates a consolidated leadership structure for class actions, including litigation against government officials and entities, such as the City of Flint and Governor Rick Snyder, as well as cases against two private engineering firms who consulted on the city’s switch to Flint River water and neglected their professional responsibilities.

“The crisis in Flint represents a serious breach of trust and an unacceptable neglect of responsibility by those charged with serving these communities,” said Ted Leopold, Chair of the Catastrophic Injury & Defective Products Practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “We look forward to getting swift justice for the residents of Flint and we are pleased with the Court’s ruling appointing Cohen Milstein and Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers PC as Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel.”

A partner and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Mr. Leopold brings unparalleled experience litigating some of the nation’s most complex class action cases and has recovered billions of dollars in damages for injured plaintiffs, including a closely-watched settlement with automaker Takata over its faulty airbags in 2016 and a $131 million jury verdict against Ford Motor Company in 2010.

Mr. Leopold has played a leading role in the effort to hold accountable those responsible for Flint’s water crisis. He has been on the forefront of ongoing litigation against Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN) and Veolia North America, two engineering companies accused of giving disastrously bad advice and ignoring several red flags regarding problems in the city’s water system.

The newly-appointed Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel enjoys substantial support among participants in the class actions and members of the Flint community, helping to ensure individuals are readily able to engage their expertise. Cohen Milstein has partnered with the Flint Chapter of the NAACP and the Mexican Consulate to facilitate access to Class Counsel, while attorneys representing thousands of class members and hundreds of landlords have also signaled their support.

Desmond Lee / (646) 517-1826