Federal Judge Orders All Parties In Flint Water Case Into Mediation

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Hundreds of people in Flint, Mich. have filed lawsuits over that city’s lead water crisis. They’re seeking damages that range from property value losses to brain damage in children.

Most of the lawsuits have been consolidated into one massive case. And today, a federal district judge in Ann Arbor ordered all of the parties into mediation.

Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton reports that move could mean that victims get money much faster.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: 72-year-old Elnora Carthan noticed a change in the water in her shower right after Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s system to the local Flint River in April 2014.

ELNORA CARTHAN: It had this smell to it. And after you’d dry it off, you began to itch.

SAMILTON: She developed skin lesions and other problems. When the state finally admitted the switch caused lead to leach into the drinking water, she had hers tested. One bottle came back at more than 32 times the federal standard. Carthan’s blood lead level was also elevated. She became a lead plaintiff in the consolidated case against everyone from the Michigan governor and city officials to the engineering firms involved in the water switch. Carthan […]

More about Flint, Michigan and water:

Watchdog says lack of EPA oversight helped cause ‘catastrophic’ Flint water crisis

Fraudulence in Flint: How Suspect Science Helped Declare the Water Crisis Over

State puts Flint on notice for not fixing water system deficiencies

Flint Activist LeeAnne Walters Wins Major Environmental Prize

11-Year-Old Just Developed New Sensor to Detect Lead in Tap Water

Flint Water Investigation Leads to Felony Charges for Michigan State Employees

Study: Fewer pregnancies, more fetal deaths in Flint after lead levels rose in water

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