Complaint in Genesee County Circuit Court asks for Injunction against Water Shut-offs, Declaration that Water Users who Received Dangerous Water are Not Responsible for Paying Bills FLINT, Mich., Jan. 19, 2016-- A group of Flint residents have filed two new class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and additional government officials. The Genesee County Circuit Court lawsuit requests that Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman enjoin the City of Flint from water shut-offs and that he declare that the Flint water users are not required to pay past or future bills for useless and harmful water. In the Court of Claims case filed on Friday January 15, 2016, the injured citizens seek to hold the State of Michigan financially accountable for this man-made catastrophe. Those class members who owned property in the City are claiming an unjust and unconstitutional taking of their property without fair compensation. Known as an inverse condemnation action, the State, by its actions, destroyed or impaired the property values in Flint and must be held accountable to cover the losses in property value. The new class actions focus on the conduct of the MDHHS. In June through September 2014, MDHHS had in its possession reports that indicated a dramatic increase in elevated blood lead levels of the children of Flint and it knew that this spike correlated precisely with the exposure to the lead laced Flint River drinking water. The Department had information that there was a public health emergency yet sat of the information for more than 10 months. The lead poisoning of many of Flint's children could have been avoided if the Department had shared with the public this vital information. The new class actions also focus on the serious harm caused by the prolonged and repeated false assurances made by public officials to the public that the Flint River water was safe to drink and use. These false assurances caused many people to experience serious health effects when they unnecessarily consumed toxic river water---serious health conditions which could have been avoided by simply telling the public the truth about the toxicity of the water they were encouraged to drink. The complaints also point out similar behavior on the part of the MDHHS in not reporting a major spike in the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. It remains to be seen how many lives could have been saved if the MDHHS had shared the information with the public in a timely fashion. "Tens of thousands of Flint residents were unnecessarily injured and hundreds of millions of property damage resulted due to the deliberate indifference of a handful of state, city and county officials," said Michael Pitt, co-counsel for the plaintiffs. "Public officials must never again be permitted to give assurances to the public about public health conditions when they know the assurances are false. Public officials must never again be permitted to ruin the lives of our children by remaining silent in the face of a public health emergency," Pitt said. "The attention of the state and the country are finally focused on Flint and there is outrage. But this public outrage doesn't mean the affected residents will be fairly compensated for their injuries and damages. They will still be here long after the media has gone and we want to help to ensure that they receive just and fair compensation," Pitt said. The legal team representing the Flint residents includes Michael Pitt, Cary McGehee, Peggy Pitt and Beth Rivers (Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers); Bill Goodman, Julie Hurwitz and Kathryn Bruner James (Goodman and Hurwitz); Trachelle Young (Trachelle C. Young & Associates) and Deborah LaBelle (Law Offices of Deborah A. LaBelle). Michigan Court of Claims complaint: http://pittlawpc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Flint-Water-Crisis-Complaint-Filed-Jan-15-2016-in-MIch.-Court-of-Claims.pdf Genesee County Circuit Court complaint: Available at event and on PR Newswire version of release. http://pittlawpc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Mays-vs.-Genesee-County-Complaint-1-19-2016.docx
Michael Pitt was quoted in MIRS News coverage of the increasing volume of civil lawsuits being filed in Michigan and throughout the U.S. which are related to the COVID-19 pandemic: Read full article here.
Cary McGehee was quoted in Detroit News coverage of a federal court hearing relating to a class action lawsuit filed by prisoners held at the Oakland County Jail. The prisoners have alleged they are not being provided adequate protection from the...
Kevin Carlson was quoted in Detroit News coverage of a federal court hearing in the matter of a class action suit filed by prisoners in the Oakland County Jail. The lawsuit alleges that the facility is not providing adequate social distancing nor...
Jennifer Lord was cited in a WXYZ News investigative report on continuing problems with customer service and technology at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased unemployment rolls and severely taxed the...
Civil Rights Organizations Sue Oakland County Jail For Immediate Release of Vulnerable People Ahead of Deadly COVID-19 Spread
Advocates warn outbreak is imminent inside county jail Oakland County, MI – Today several civil rights and racial justice groups filed a federal lawsuit calling for the release of medically vulnerable people inside the Oakland County Jail,...
Peoples’ lives have had to change due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Companies across the world and country have had to shut their doors, reduce services, change services, switch to remote work, and make various other changes. You may...
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "As 6th Anniversary of Flint Water Switch Approaches, Legal Wrangling Drags On"
Michael Pitt was cited in Michigan Radio/NPR coverage marking the 6th anniversary since the drinking water switch was made in Flint: Read here.
Cary McGehee was quoted by the Detroit News in a report on a temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Linda Parker requiring Oakland County Jail to take certain steps to protect inmates from the COVID-19 virus: Read here
WDIV/NBC -- "Civil Rights Groups Sue Oakland County Jail for Immediate Release of People During Pandemic"
Pitt McGehee was cited by WDIV/NBC as one of the law firms filing suit on behalf of medically-vulnerable people at Oakland County Jail seeking immediate release due to the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic: Read here
Robin Wagner was quoted in a report published in The Macomb Daily regarding the sexual discrimination lawsuit recently filed by the firm on behalf of female emergency dispatchers at the Warren Police Department: Read here.
Legal News -- "A Safety Net: Civil Rights Attorney Sees Need to 'Pull Together' in Response to Crisis"
Legal News has published (April 6, 2020) an interview with Cary McGehee covering a range of COVID-19 pandemic-related issues: Read here.
Cary McGehee was cited in a Michigan Lawyers Weekly (April 2, 2020) feature article examining sexual harassment in the workplace in the #metoo/post-Weinstein era: Read here.
Jennifer Lord and Tony Paris (Sugar Law Center) were cited in a lengthy (1320 words) Michigan Lawyers Weekly summary of the Bauserman vs. UIA and Cahoo vs. FAST Enterprises class actions filed against the Michigan Unemployment Agency after a...
The State of Michigan agreed to a settlement in the John Doe(s) vs. Michigan Department of Corrections
"The State of Michigan has agreed to a settlement in the John Doe(s) vs. Michigan Department of Corrections case. Pitt McGehee attorneys are part of the legal team representing the plaintiffs who alleged they were sexually abused by adult...
Congratulations to Beth Rivers, who has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leaders in the Law Class of 2020:"
Michigan Lawyers Weekly -- MiLW Names Leaders in the Law Class of 2020 Read here
Detroit Free Press, The Michigan Times, Michigan Radio and WNEM-TV have reported on the lawsuit(s) filed by Megan Bonanni and Robin Wagner on behalf of former UM Flint Administrator Heather Johnson: Detroit Free Press -- "She Says...
Detroit Free Press, The Michigan Times, Michigan Radio and WNEM-TV have reported on the lawsuit(s) filed by Megan Bonanni and Robin Wagner on behalf of former UM Flint Administrator Heather Johnson
Detroit Free Press -- "She Says UM Flint Fired Her for Pushing for LGBQTA Resources" https://bit.ly/38zcYge The Michigan Times (UM Flint Campus Newspaper) -- "Former CGS Director Files Lawsuit Against University, Chancellor and...
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "Attorneys in Unemployment Fraud Cases Join Forces, Call for State Review of AI in Government"
Carmelita C0lvin, Christian Sandvig, Jennifer Lord and Kevin Carlson were cited in coverage of yesterday's media announcement by Michigan Radio/NPR Read the full article here.
FOX 2 News/Detroit -- "Attorneys in Unemployment Fraud Cases Join Forces, Call for State Review of AI in Government"/1:42
Kevin Carlson, Jennifer Lord, Tony Paris and Christian Sandvig were featured in FOX 2 News coverage of yesterday's announcement from Bauserman and Cahoo legal teams:
Jennifer Lord was quoted in FOX 17/West Michigan coverage of media announcement from Bauserman and Cahoo legal teams Read the full article here