The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] affirmed [opinion, PDF] a lower court decision on Friday, requiring the state of Michigan to provide bottled water to the citizens of Flint. The court affirmed a ruling that required the state of Michigan to provide water to households without water filters. Michigan attempted to stay the order, citing evidence of extreme cost to the government. The state contends that as of now 96 percent of households already possess a functioning water filter. The court said that the state still has funds from the 212 million dollars that the state had allocated in response to the Flint water crisis. The court found that the state will not suffer irreparable harm by fulfilling the court order. “In the absence of this injunction, it is unclear how the State Defendants plan to ensure that every resident in Flint has safe drinking water.” The court said that a stay of the injunction goes against the public interest of providing safe drinking water to all citizens.
Multiple lawsuits have occurred as a result of the Flint water crisis. Last month a federal judge ordered [JURIST report] the city of Flint to deliver bottled water to residents, which led to the response from the appeal. In May the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [official website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Michigan officials in federal court over charges of gross negligence and outrageous conduct. A month prior a group of concerned citizens filed a suit [JURIST report] against the Environmental Protection Agency over its response, or lack thereof, in relation to the water crisis plaguing the citizens of Flint. In April a Michigan prosecutor announced that a judge would allow criminal charges [JURIST report] be brought against three people involved with the water crisis, including a supervisor of the treatment plant and two government officials.