NAACP Files Lawsuit Against Governor Rick Snyder Over Flint Water Crisis
The NAACP has a long history with fighting cases on behalf of people and businesses of color affected by atrocity and injustice. The latest issue stems from the lack of safe, clean drinking water in the city of Flint, Michigan. Attorneys with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have filed a federal class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
The civil suit alleges that the state of Michigan, city and state officials and two engineering firms failed to detect problems and properly treat water that caused extensive lead contamination. The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit include Flint, Michigan residents and members of the local NAACP branch. The national attorneys are working with Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll and Susman Godfrey in making the allegations stick.
Property damages, pain and suffering damages, emotional distress damages, medical monitoring and other injunctive relief are just some of the demands made by city residents and businesses, which will be determined by the court. “The people of Flint have been harmed through the failure of state officials to provide professional and accountable basic services mandated by federal law and expected by any person living in a major city,” said Cornell William Brooks, the national president and CEO of the NAACP.
“Our organization stands with the citizens of Flint to demand a clear timeline, deadline and price tag for fixing this crisis as well as effective remedies for the harms that have already occurred and complete compensation for each and every victim of this unimaginable tragedy.” The 103-page complaint names Governor Rick Synder as an individual defendant in the suit, along with six former high-ranking officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and three men who were emergency managers during the prolonged exposure period.
The NAACP and Flint Water victims allege that the officials and companies supervising the water system failed to properly treat the water supply for salt and other chemicals, which caused lead to leech from corroded pipes into the drinking water for years. From top to bottom, officials repeatedly denied and dismissed reports of poor water quality and pipe corrosion before finally crumbling due to widespread failures to act. The NAACP branch in Flint, Michigan has done its part alongside the Michigan State Conference to inform the public about poisoned water and its potential effects on city children and residents.
Plans to host a Town Hall meeting with residents in the near future are in the works, as well as calling for federal and state action to provide relief.
H/T: The Daily Beast