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Politics

Appeals court allows allows Flint water suit to go ahead

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Class-action lawsuits against state and local officials involved in the Flint water crisis will go forward.

 

A federal appeals court reinstated claims against officials all the way up to Governor Rick Snyder.

The court dismissed claims against Governor Snyder in his official capacity, and against the departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services.  But plaintiff attorney Deborah LaBelle says the governor could still be found liable for the drinking water crisis.

“Although the governor cannot be sued in his official capacity as the head of the state, he can certainly be sued individually.”

 “The Safe Drinking Water Act, although it was intended to protect the    water going to citizens, our claims are very different. Our claims are that the state and the state actors involved, violated the constitutional rights of the citizens of Flint.”

She says the court rejected defense arguments that the claims are preempted by the federal Safe Water Drinking Act. 

“Whether it be through the poison they put in the water, or their actions in lying about it, or their targeting specifically the citizens of Flint, those constitutional         violations and claims can go forward.”

The court dismissed claims against Governor Snyder in his official capacity, and the departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services.  But the governor could still be found individually liable for the drinking water crisis.