July 20, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the release of a report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General, detailing the agency’s many failures in its response to the water crisis that has consumed Flint, MI since 2014, the co-lead attorneys for Flint residents who are suing the City, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, EPA, other local government officials and engineering contractors in federal court for negligent and unconstitutional behavior that created the devastating public health crisis, released the following statement:

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General has confirmed what residents of Flint, Michigan have known for over four years: the government willfully endangered its people,” said Ted Leopold of the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “From the E.P.A.to Governor Rick Snyder, to their state and municipal counterparts, officials at all levels are responsible for the devastation of Flint. The role of the government should be to protect its citizens, and this new report further illustrates the abject failure of our Federal, State and City governments and those they contract with.” 

“The E.P.A.’s OIG new report strengthens our resolve and bolsters our case,” said Michael Pitt of the law firm Pitt, McGehee, Palmer & Rivers. “We are confident that we will achieve justice for the people of Flint and help them to rebuild their lives.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit aim to hold all those responsible accountable for preventable circumstances that led to the crisis, the race-based decisions about the quality of water delivered to certain communities and the failure to respond appropriately to initial signs of trouble. The Flint residents allege that Gov. Snyder, officials from the City of Flint, the EPA and two private engineering firms created the public health crisis, having made calculated decisions that “deliberately exposed” residents of Flint – a predominantly poor, African American community – to the harmful health effects of lead while providing superior water to residents of Genesee County, the affluent, largely white community nearby. 

The plaintiffs are asking the Court to establish a Flint Victims Compensation Fund, providing the 100,000 affected Flint residents with medical and financial assistance. The Fund, to be overseen by a court-appointed monitor, would establish medical monitoring to provide health care and other critical services and create a source of funding for repairs of private property, among other things.

The case is Waid et al. v. Snyder et al., case number 5:16-cv-10444, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Further information can be found here.

The full report can be accessed here.

 

About Cohen Milstein
Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff class action lawsuits and litigation. As one of the premier firms in the country handling major complex cases, Cohen Milstein, with 90 attorneys, has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Denver, Colo., and Raleigh, N.C. For more information, visit www.cohenmilstein.com or call (561) 515-1400.

About Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers
Located in Royal Oak, Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers PC is Michigan’s largest law firms specializing in civil rights litigation exclusively on behalf of the victims of governmental, corporate and workplace abuse Its. attorneys represent clients in a broad range of actions, including sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, whistleblower issues and discrimination based on age, gender, disability, race, religion and national origin. For additional information visit www.pittlawpc.com.

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Contact:
Brian Levin / (646) 200-5331
CohenMilstein@berlinrosen.com