News

Pitt Featured in Huffington Post Coverage of Flint EPA Suit

Mary Papenfuss Trends reporter, The Huffington Post More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan, have filed a class action lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, accusing officials of "negligent" mismanagement of the city's drinking water crisis.

The suit, accusing the EPA of a critical failure to supervise local officials who allowed extraordinarily high levels of toxic lead to leach into the city's drinking water, comes amid President Donald Trump's plans to gut the budget at the already overwhelmed federal agency.

The EPA is charged with helping guide local officials to monitor environmental toxins. If the agency determines city officials have failed to take "timely and protective action" in the event of a crisis, such as the contamination of Flint's water supply, it's is required by law to take emergency action to protect citizens. Yet despite knowledge of the danger as early as October 2014, the EPA failed to take action until January 2016, according to the suit filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Michigan.

"As of November 25, 2016, the two and one half year anniversary [of the Flint crisis], the water delivered to the people of Flint remain[ed] unsafe to drink, use for cooking or use for bathing," the suit charges.

The lawsuit is demanding $722 million in damages for plaintiffs who suffered a loss of property values as well as serious heath effects, including lead poisoning, various illnesses, dermatological disorders, loss of hair and gastrointestinal disorders resulting in "emotional distress" and "deprivation of a quality of life."

An attorney for the plaintiffs said the case is strengthened by the fact that some local officials have publicly admitted culpability in the crisis (and several employees have already been charged with crimes). He is not particularly concerned by the Trump administration's plans to gut the EPA.

The "beauty of the judiciary is that it's independent of politics," Michael Pitt of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers told The Huffington Post. That said, he added, the outcome of the case could affect future decisions about the value of the EPA and its policing. "The lesson could be that the judge awards close to a billion dollars in damages, which would take a big chunk out of the federal budget that could have been used for other things." Read the entire article here.

Lord Profile Featured in Detroit Legal News

The following article appeared in the July 22, 2015 edition of Detroit Legal News and featured Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers attorney Jennifer Lord.  Jennifer Lord's dream in high school and college was to become a U.S. Senator a dream that...

Carlson Speaks to WDET About History of ADA

WDET Radio program, "Detroit Today" with Stephen Henderson, talked to Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers attorney Kevin Carlson about the 25th anniversary of the signing of theAmericans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The main points of...

Pitt McGehee Hosts Sold Out Morris Dees Lecture

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 300 came to hear civil rights icon Morris Dees speak Monday, April 13, at Wayne State University Law School. Dees, who is widely celebrated for his work with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he...

Rivers Joins ACLU Suit on Behalf of Female Inmates

Grand Rapids, Mich. Dec. 4 - Beth Rivers, a partner with Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, has joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan in filing suit against Muskegon County in federal court on behalf of eight female jail inmates who...

Michael Pitt Addresses Tort Reform in Legal News

Michael Pitt, a founding member and managing partner of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers as well as past president of the Michigan Association for Justice, was interviewed in a special column by the LegalNews in November on Tort Reform.   The...