Michigan Is Forced to Do Right by Flint

In States On
- Updated

Flint, a once thriving industrial city that fell on hard times as its auto plants shut down, has suffered one indignity after another. The fact that about 40 percent of Flint’s residents live in poverty and more than half are black was one reason state and federal officials callously disregarded initial complaints as bellyaching, according to a detailed report by a task force appointed by the governor. Mr. Snyder, a Republican, ignored mounting evidence of the crisis and only declared a state of emergency in January 2016.

Frustrated by the state government’s many failures, a Flint resident, a group of local pastors, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the state last year under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Though overdue, the settlement should now go a long way toward repairing the damage caused by the state.

Read full article

Inadequate Flint Settlement

To the Editor:

Re “Michigan Is Forced to Do Right by Flint” (editorial, April 3):

The lawsuit settlement does not begin to undo the full extent of the damage created by the state. It is neither final nor complete. The contaminated water damaged not only the pipes that deliver water to homes, businesses and schools, but also plumbing and fixtures within the structures. Property values were destroyed.

The settlement fails to address the extensive physical and emotional injuries incurred by the exposure to the contaminated water and the trauma of the continuing plight of living with contaminated water as a result of misrepresentations by state and federal officials to the citizens of Flint regarding the toxicity of the water.

Nor does the settlement address the fact that the residents of Flint were denied equal protection of the law.

The settlement to replace pipes going forward is an important step, but it does not provide for either known injuries from the poisoned water or injuries that may become apparent only in the future. Numerous class actions and individual lawsuits have been filed to address these issues.

Rather than do right by the people of Flint, the state continues to impoverish its residents by delay and legal maneuvers in an effort to escape its responsibilities.


The writer is counsel to the Flint Water Class Action Team.

You may also read!

The Secrets of ‘Cognitive Super-Agers’

One of my greatest pleasures during the Covid-19 shutdowns


Is Education No Longer the ‘Great Equalizer’?

There is an ongoing debate over what kind of


Even the terrorist threat to the United States is now partisan

Hours after he announced his objection to forming a


Mobile Sliding Menu