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A Flint water crisis lawsuit may soon be in the hands of a federal jury

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Steve Carmody
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Michigan Radio

After months of testimony, the Flint water crisis bellwether trial is expected to go to the jury later this week.

At issue is the damage claims on behalf of four Flint children who claim to have suffered health problems related to high lead levels in Flint’s drinking water during the city’s water crisis in 2014 and 2015.

The plaintiffs are suing two engineering firms hired as consultants on the city’s water system.

But attorneys for Veolia North America (VNA) and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN) have countered, as consultants, their clients were not in a position to make decisions and were focused on other aspects of the water system.

Since the trial started in February, a long line of company officials, health experts, family members and others have taken the witness stand in the courtroom in Ann Arbor.

In some cases, the jury watched videotaped depositions of former government officials, including former Gov. Rick Snyder, who invoked their constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The final witness is expected to take the witness stand on Monday.

After that, attorneys are expected to take two days delivering their closing arguments before the case goes to the jury.

This is considered to be a bellwether trial, since it may serve as a guide for future lawsuits

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.