Flint Residents Get Green Light From Supreme Court To Pursue Class-Action Lawsuit Against City, State Officials
The city of Flint and Michigan officials sought to toss out the claims against them, arguing they should be shielded from being sued. A lower court sided with the Flint residents, and the Supreme Court on Tuesday saying it won't block the suit. "Any reasonable official should have known that doing so constitutes conscience-shocking conduct prohibited by the substantive due process clause," the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals said in its opinion.
U.S. Supreme Court Lets Flint, Michigan Residents Sue Over Water Contamination
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let residents of Flint, Michigan pursue a civil rights lawsuit against the city and government officials that accused them of knowingly allowing the city's water supply to become contaminated with lead. The justices turned away two appeals by the city and the state and local officials of a lower court ruling that allowed the lawsuit to move forward. (Chung, 1/21)
Supreme Court Allows Lawsuit Against Flint City Officials To Advance
The defendants "created the Flint Water environmental disaster and then intentionally attempted to cover-up their grievous decision. Their actions shock our conscience," Judge Richard A. Griffin wrote in an opinion. (Neidig, 1/21)
Supreme Court Turns Away Cases Arising From Flint Water Crisis, Allowing Residents To Sue Flint And State Of Michigan Over Water Contamination
Flint residents who were exposed to contaminated water argued city and state officials violated their constitutional right to bodily integrity. In a filing with the Supreme Court, they said they seek to hold accountable government officials who "personally caused, extended, and exacerbated Flint's water crisis." (Quinn, 1/21)
Supreme Court Won't Block Lawsuit Brought By Flint Water Crisis Victims
Lawyers for the city asked the justices to step in and block the lawsuit, claiming their clients had immunity from such suits. In an unsigned Tuesday order, the court declined to do so, allowing the lawsuit to continue. A federal appeals court previously ruled in favor of the residents. "Knowing the Flint River water was unsafe for public use, distributing it without taking steps to counter its problems, and assuring the public in the meantime that it was safe is conduct that would alert a reasonable person to the likelihood of personal liability," the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals held. (De Vogue and Cole, 1/21)
Supreme Court Allows Flint Water Lawsuits To Move Forward, Officials Not 'Immune'
Attorney Michael Pitt, co-lead counsel on the class action lawsuit, which includes thousands of Flint residents suing for damages from the 2014 incident, welcomed the decision as a major victory. He said, "It's time for the people of Flint to start feeling like they are going to get their day in court," Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody reported. "This just moves the entire process closer to that day." (Romo, 1/21)
Attorney Says Supreme Court Decision On Flint Water Brings Federal Trial Closer To Reality
An attorney representing a Flint woman and her child say the case is closer to coming to trial after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intercede in it. Paul Geske, a Chicago-based attorney with McGuire Law, said the federal lawsuit filed by Shari Guertin and her minor child is still in the discovery phase in U.S. District Court “in preparation ultimately for a more-than-likely trial.” (Fonger, 1/21)