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
Robin Wagner was one of 30 attorneys selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for its 2019 Up and Coming Lawyers professional recognition. The honorees are attorneys in their first decade of practice who are having a significant impact and...
Legal News has published an announcement regarding Megan Bonanni's election as a Fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Read full article here
Jennifer Lord was quoted by Legal News in coverage of her recent presentation at the"Litigating Algorithms" conference sponsored by AI Now Institute at NYU Law School.
Jennifer Lord was cited by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in an article on the problematic use of automation by public agencies to manage various benefits and welfare programs.
Lansing State Journal -- "Settlement Reached in Case of Lansing Teacher who Physically Abused Special Needs Student"
The Lansing State Journal reported on the settlement of a case involving a male student who was physically abused by a public school teacher. The teenaged student is represented by Megan Bonanni
East Village Magazine -- "Water Class Action Attorneys Detail Progress of Civil Cases; Not All Satisfied"
Julie Hurwitz, Ted Leopold, and Mike Pitt were quoted in East Village Magazine's coverage of the June 27 Flint Water Crisis town hall meeting and community update. Read the full article here
Four former leadership-level employees say Ford Motor Co. deprived them of retirement benefits by firing them during a sweeping global restructuring in May based on their age and how close they are to obtaining full pensions. Read full article
Remarks by Trachelle Young and Michael Pitt were featured in WNEM/NBC coverage of June 27 Flint Town Hall
WNEM/NBC/Flint-Saginaw -- "Town Hall to Update Flint Families About Civil Lawsuits"/3:19
Law360 reported on the transfer of proposed class action suit against General Motors from Florida to Michigan, citing PMPR as counsel for plaintiffs. Click here to read article
The media outlets below aired and published coverage of counsel's letter to Michigan Auditor General requesting an investigation of the Nassar Survivor Compensation Fund: WILX -- "'Wave 2' Nassar Survivors Want Investigation Into...
Michael Pitt was quoted by Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal as their coverage of the Coalition of Counsel's letter to Michigan's Auditor General requesting an investigation of irregularities in the Nassar Survivor...
Michael Pitt has been named to the Michigan Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame - Class of 2019
Law360 published an article on last week's U.S. District Court ruling in Burgess vs. USA case
Read The Hills article on last week's U.S. District Court ruling in Burgess vs. USA case here.
The Detroit News published an editorial in today's edition summarized and supported the Michigan Supreme Court's decision in Bauserman vs. UIA
Ted Leopold and Michael Pitt were quoted in a Detroit News story examining U.S. District Judge Judith Levy's opinion in Flint Water Crisis-related lawsuit
In a recent interview aired on WDET/NPR, Michael Pitt explained and commented on hundreds of lawsuits being filed by visually-impaired persons against companies with inaccessible public websites. The lawsuits claim the websites are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
WDIV/NBC/Detroit -- "Taylor City Council Wants Answers After Treasurer Claims Disability, Works from Home"/2:56
WDIV reported on Ed Bourassa and his lawsuit in late February. Beginning at 1:53 of story, the reporter (Rod Meloni) cites details from the lawsuit multiple times and makes apparent reference to Mike Pitt as Bourassa's "tough lawyer:"
Congratulations to Cary McGehee, who was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law -- Class of 2019 The honorees have made outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan and set an example for other lawyers. The...
Michael Pitt and Peggy Goldberg Pitt -- and their good works -- were profiled in the "Citizen Lawyer" feature published in February 2019 issue of Michigan Bar Journal