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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Defamation lawsuit filed involving key Flint water crisis figures

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

A prominent figure in the Flint water crisis is suing several people who worked together with him to reveal the city’s lead tainted tap water.

The relationship between Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards and several prominent Flint activists has been deteriorating for years.

The suit names activists Melissa Mays and Paul Schwartz, as well as former Edwards’ research associate Yanna Lambrinidou as defendants. 

Originally, Edwards and the defendants worked together on Flint’s water issues. But their disagreements over the quality of the city’s drinking water have created a widening divide.   

Paperwork filed with the court claims defendants Mays, Lambrinidou, and Schwartz entered into an ongoing civil conspiracy to attack and damage Edwards' professional reputation.   The suit claims Edwards has been subjected to numerous negative written and verbal false statements,

In May, the activists asked a variety of academic and professional groups to conduct an investigation of Edwards’ work in Flint.

Edwards filed the defamation lawsuit in state court in Virginia. 

Attorney William Moran represents defendants activists Melissa Mays and Paul Schwartz, as well as former Edwards’ research associate Yanna Lambrinidou.

"We will be removing the case to federal court in Roanoke, Virginia,” says Moran.