News / USA

    Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Over Flint Water Crisis

    FILE - Michigan National Guard members distribute water to a line of residents in their cars in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 21, 2016.
    FILE - Michigan National Guard members distribute water to a line of residents in their cars in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 21, 2016.

    Residents of the northern U.S. city of Flint, Michigan, have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state's governor and others alleging gross negligence for causing the city's drinking water to become contaminated with lead.

    The group of seven residents filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court seeking damages for thousands of Flint residents who suffered physical or economic injuries.

    The suit names Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other current and former government officials, as well as corporations, for their role in the water crisis.

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is named in a lawsuit filed Monday over the Flint water crisis.
    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is named in a lawsuit filed Monday over the Flint water crisis.

    It accuses them of gross negligence, which is an exception to the immunity that lawmakers generally are granted for performing official duties.

    A spokesman for Snyder said the administration is not commenting on pending legislation, but said the governor is staying focused on finding solutions for Flint.

    Michigan's slow response to the water crisis in Flint was a big topic at the Democratic presidential debate Sunday with both candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, calling for Snyder's resignation.

    Flint, with a population of about 100,000, was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched its water source in April 2014 from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The new, more corrosive water supply caused lead to leach from city pipes into the drinking water.

    The Flint, Mich.,water tower is seen in this Feb. 5, 2016 photo. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in 2014 to save money.
    The Flint, Mich.,water tower is seen in this Feb. 5, 2016 photo. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in 2014 to save money.

    Over the ensuing months, the city's residents complained about the odd, brownish color of the water and its taste. Tests later found that lead was in the bloodstreams of more than 200 children. Lead contamination in children is especially debilitating, causing developmental delays, learning disabilities and aggressive behavior.

    City and state officials are pointing the blame at each other. The state-appointed emergency manager who oversaw the switch to the new water source blames the decision on the city council. City officials, conversely, are blaming the emergency manager.

    Michigan's attorney general has launched an investigation into the contamination crisis, and so has the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. One state investigator said charges as serious as manslaughter could be brought if drinking the toxic water causes any deaths.

    You May Like

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    City could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters

    Turkey Aims New Crackdown at Journalists, Academics, Airline Workers

    Ankara continues targeting people allegedly linked to exiled cleric, who it says led the failed military coup

    Pakistan Ready to Inaugurate Rebuilt Afghan Border Crossing

    Construction of Torkham Gate triggered deadly clashes between Pakistani and Afghan military forces

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lou from: Atlanta
    March 08, 2016 9:55 AM
    This is not only an embarrassment for Flint, but also an embarrassment for the United States. It used to be that you could go ANYWHERE in the US and get a cup of clean drinking water for FREE. But no more. Make America great again!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora