This week could be pivotal for a massive class action lawsuit connected to the Flint water crisis.
Wednesday, a federal judge in Ann Arbor will consider arguments to dismiss the lawsuit seeking monetary damages from governments and government officials.
Last year, ten related federal class action lawsuits were consolidated into one suit, which could seek damages for tens of thousands of Flint residents.
However, attorneys representing the city of Flint, the state of Michigan and numerous government officials are asking a judge to dismiss the suit, citing government immunity, among other things.
Lawyers for the city of Flint are citing a recent federal judge’s ruling in a case involving Detroit schools.
In that case (Gary B., et al. v. Snyder), U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III ruled literacy is “not a fundamental right."
Flint attorneys argue:
“Gary B. touches on several of the issues before this Court in the several pending motions to dismiss brought by various defendants, including substantive due process claims and the potential culpability of the State as a result of their involvement, through the emergency management scheme.”
Attorney Michael Pitt is the class action suit’s lead counsel.
He says this week U.S. District Judge Judith Levy will consider the motions to dismiss.
“She’s going to look at each of these arguments and defenses one by one,” says Pitt, “and will decide which claim will stand … which defendants remain in the case.”
Pitt expects many people from Flint will be in the federal courtroom in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.