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Flint getting ready to sue state, DEQ

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (right) stands next to the lead drinking water line that was pulled from a home in Flint.
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor has notified the state a lawsuit is in the works over the city’s water crisis. The notice of intent to sue names the state of Michigan, the state Department of Environmental Quality, and four DEQ water officials.

Ari Adler is Governor Rick Snyder’s communications director. He says if the lawsuit is filed, that would complicate discussions between the state and the city.

"Because anytime anyone on staff wants to talk to each other – between the state and the city – there will be a question raised about whether lawyers need to be involved, or whether we’d have to have a legal review of what we’re saying or agreeing to,” Adler says.

Adler says it would also get in the way of efforts to convince Republicans in the Legislature to send more money and resources to Flint.

The notice says the state is liable for declining property values and tax revenues, emergency management costs, and medical claims. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says the notice preserves the city’s right to file a lawsuit later on if it chooses to do so. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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