Residents of Flint, Michigan, represented by attorney Michael Pitt [professional profile], filed [complaint, PDF] an administrative complaint against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] Monday for negligence in handling the Flint water crisis. The suit alleges that the EPA was notified of contamination in the Flint water supply long before acting in any substantive way to mitigate the harm or properly investigate the complaints. As a result of their inaction, the residents of Flint allege they were subjected to lead in their water supply for over a year causing physical injury to themselves and their property:
As a result of the EPA’s negligence claimants have experienced and will continue to experience physical injury, illness lead poisoning, dermatological disorders, loss of hair, gastrointestinal disorders, out of pocket economic losses; claimants have experienced and will continue to experience pain and suffering, emotional distress, deprivation of a quality of life; claimants have experienced property damage to real estate and personal property; claimants have experienced a loss of property value.
The suit is seeking over $200 million in damages.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed in response to the water contamination in Flint. David Leyton, a prosecutor in Genesee County, Michigan, announced last week that a Michigan judge will allow criminal charges [JURIST report] against three people involved in the water crisis in Flint, including the man who supervised the treatment plan as well as two state environmental officials. Earlier this month, the city of Flint filed [JURIST report] an intent to sue letter with the state, claiming that the city lacks funds to defend itself against lawsuit filed during the water crisis. Hertz Schram PC , a southeastern Michigan firm, filed [JURIST report] a class action lawsuit in March on behalf of the children in Flint who were injured by exposure to the high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water.