Does Flint Have Clean Water?
Whenever people think of injustice in Michigan, they think of the Flint water crisis. That’s because this crisis has been going on for years. When the issue became national in 2014, every personal injury lawyer in Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York was discussing this case and wondering how large the consequences would be.
Most people expected that the state would take care of the problem quickly. What no one could have guessed was that clean water would be a problem in Flint for many years to come and the detrimental side effects of drinking lead-infused water would lead to both health and legal issues for many.
How the Crisis Started
In 2014, the city of Flint turned to the Flint River as a water source while they were in the process of building a pipeline that would deliver water from Lake Huron to the residents of Flint. When residents began getting their water from the Flint River, they began noticing a difference in the taste, smell, and color, of their water. In 2015, tests indicated that the water had high levels of lead.
Normally, water is treated with an anti-corrosive agent to prevent lead in pipes from infiltrating the water we drink. It was determined that the state had not been treating the water and as a result, the residents were being poisoned by lead in their water. Lead can have a detrimental effect on the heart, kidneys, and nerves. Children, in particular, can suffer even more damaging impairments from lead poisoning.
Over the years, more than a dozen lawsuits were filed against the state of Michigan and the city of Flint for their negligence in the water crisis. Compensation was awarded for water bills and lead poisoning, but the problem wasn’t getting solved. Once the water was contaminated, there was a lack of water for residents in the city.
Seeking Justice in Michigan
It’s now been five years since the water crisis began in Flint and a lot has happened. In April of 2018, the city finally set water quality back to federal standards. It took over four years to get clean water back to the city. In April of 2019, U.S. Judge Linda Parker granted Flint residents the right to file individual lawsuits against the federal government in connection with the water crisis.
The legal fight has clearly just begun as residents are continuing to see the effects of the lead poisoning that began five years ago. Thankfully, Flint finally has clean water, but it’s now time for the state and the city to pay for the damages they’ve inflicted upon so many innocent people.