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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Major court victory for Flint residents suing over water crisis

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint residents, sickened by the city’s water crisis, could be a major step closer to having their day in court.

Between 2014 and 2015, improperly treated drinking water exposed city residents to lead and other contaminants. Tens of thousands of Flint residents sued seeking financial damages. 

The United States Supreme Court Tuesday declined to hear a case involving lawsuits filed by Flint residents suing the city of Flint and others seeking damages for the water crisis.

Lower courts rejected arguments that government officials were immune for being sued.

As co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit, attorney Michael Pitt represents thousands of Flint residents suing for damages from the water crisis. He says the high court’s decision is a major victory for Flint residents.

“They have been denied justice,” says Pitt “It’s time for the people of Flint to start feeling like they are going to get their day in court. This just moves the entire process closer to that day.”

But that day will likely not be soon. Pitt expects a trial will likely not begin until 2021. In the meantime, Pitt says depositions of possible defendants and others are taking place daily. 

There is also another possible outcome from Tuesday’s decision. Pitt says there is also a possibility the Supreme Court’s decision may open the door wider for an out of court settlement.

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