Judge: Flint residents have right to sue federal government over water crisis

Crisis has been ongoing since 2014

A federal judge said residents in Flint have the right to sue government over the water crisis

FLINT, Mich. – A big decision in federal court could mean big money for the city of Flint in the future.

A federal judge opened the door to residents being able to take legal action against the federal government over the Flint water crisis.

Flint -- a city still struggling years after the water crisis was first revealed -- recently had a settlement deal reached with the state. $600 million will be making its way to Flint and now, after a decision in federal court, the people of Flint may have a new legal option.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn’t cause Flint’s water to be contaminated with lead, but it knew about high lead levels and didn’t crack down in time, U.S. District Judge Judith Levy said.

READ: 6 years after it started, Michigan reaches $600M settlement for Flint Water Crisis lawsuits

The decision from Levy would allow the people of Flint to take legal again against the federal government agencies, like the EPA, that were criticized by some in the medial community for not acting sooner to correct the problems in the Vehicle City.

“The harm increased every day residents drank, fed their babies formula made with contaminated water, and took showers in lead and bacteria-infested water,” Levy said.

And while the EPA did take action to help correct the problems and the people of Flint, the question will be was enough done early on to fix this and could something have been done to protect innocent people and children from the invisible danger in the water?

READ MORE: Flint Water Crisis

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.