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Flint families sue government officials and consultants over childrens’ water poisoning

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A group of Flint families with children has filed new lawsuits in the Michigan city’s water crisis, accusing private companies of professional negligence and government employees of misconduct that led to the contamination of the water supply.

The lawsuits filed on Thursday in Genesee County court, along with nine filed earlier in March, cover 50 children allegedly suffering from lead poisoning from drinking Flint water. The cases were all brought by Corey Stern, a New York attorney who specializes in child lead poisoning cases.

The lawsuits seek monetary damages from engineering firms Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam and Rowe Professional Services Co, two companies involved in carrying out the switch, for cost reasons, of the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014.

The more corrosive river water caused lead to leach into the water from the pipes.

Environmental consultants Veolia North America, which was hired in early 2015 to review Flint’s water quality and found it complied with standards, is also a defendant.

The state’s slow response to the crisis has been widely criticized, with some calls for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation.

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Flint, a predominantly black city of 100,000, was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched its water source. It was switched back last October after tests found high levels of lead in blood samples taken from children.

Stern said the varying effects of lead poisoning on children makes individual lawsuits more appropriate than class actions. He expects to file lawsuits covering 25 more children next week.

Children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, as even small amounts can cause permanent damage.

A Lockwood Andrews representative said the firm’s work addressed specific components of the water treatment plant, not the overall water quality.

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The lawsuits brought by Stern also accuse two state-level employees and a city employee of gross negligence.

A separate federal class action filed on Monday seeks damages on behalf of a proposed class of “tens of thousands” of Flint residents and property owners, claiming Snyder and other governmental officials failed to take measures required by federal law to eliminate the dangers and downplayed the severity of the contamination.

Other lawsuits that have been filed seek compensation for water bills, immediate replacement of lead pipes or injuries to residents.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Anthony Lin and Sandra Maler)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Economist mocks GOP for trying to pin racism on Democrats — after telling a harrowing story about anti-black economic envy

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Economist Julianne Malveaux explained to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that there was a time in the United States where black Americans were actually closing the wealth gap with white Americans -- until white Americans rioted and burned their property.

During her testimony at a hearing on reparations, Malveaux recounted the horrific story of the destruction of "Black Wall Street," which was a location in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was known for its high concentration of black-owned businesses and black wealth.

The area's prosperity came to an end in 1921 when white Tulsa residents used baseless accusation of a black man sexually assaulting a white woman as a justification to chase out all black residents and set fire to their neighborhoods. Hundreds of black residents were killed in the riots and the majority fled the city.

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MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle unloads on Democrats for letting Hope Hicks testify behind closed doors

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MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle questioned the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing with former White House director of communications Hope Hicks.

Hope Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee -- where she reportedly refused to answer many questions.

“Let’s be honest, why did Democrats think this was a huge break? Why did they think that Hope Hicks was going to sing like a bird?” Ruhle asked MSNBC national security analyst Ken Dilanian.

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2020 Election

Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy is familiar: Troll the libs!

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Late on Tuesday, I got an email from an unusual source. A reporter for the conservative publication the Washington Examiner asked if I'd be interested in sharing thoughts on Joe Biden's history of joking "about 'locking up your daughters'" and on "Biden's view of women and gender relations." This was in light of my previous criticisms of Biden's apparent condescension towards girls and women, and his pockmarked history on gender relations in general.

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