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.

Morris Dees Honored as Champion of Justice by MCHR

The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) recognized the lifetime efforts of iconic civil rights attorney Morris Dees at its recent annual dinner held at Marygrove College in Detroit. Cary McGehee, firm co-founder and longtime MCHR Chair,...

Renowned Attorney Morris Dees Honored by MCHR

Cary McGehee presents Champion of Justice Award to Morris Dees at MCHR annual dinner.[/caption] The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) recognized the lifetime efforts of iconic civil rights attorney Morris Dees at its recent annual dinner...

Channing Robinson-Holmes Joins Firm as Attorney

Channing Robinson began working as a law clerk at the firm in October 2015 while she was still in law school. Since that time, she has devoted innumerable hours to the firm’s class actions against Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, as...

UIA Fraud Class-Action Continues to Gain Steam

In September 2015, firm attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The complaint alleges that the automated system used for adjudicating unemployment insurance fraud, falsely accused as...

PMP&R Host Flint Water Community Information Meeting

On April 24, 2017, the Flint Water Class Action Legal Team held an informational meeting for the Flint community at Greater Holy Temple Church of God in Christ in Flint. Throughout the night, Flint residents and other attendees spoke with...

NewsChannel 3 Discusses UIA Fraud with Lord

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Michigan lawmakers are working to figure out how tens of thousands of people on unemployment across Michigan were wrongly accused of fraud. On Monday the House Oversight Committee announced it had created a work group...

Pitt Awarded Distinguished Service Award by State Bar

From Detroit Legal News Michael Pitt has been selected for the 2017 Distinguished Service Award by the State Bar of Michigan's Labor & Employment Section. Pitt is co-founding partner of Royal Oak-based Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, one of...

The Bridge Looks at UIA Fraud and Cites Lord

From the Bridge - the Center for Michigan February 7, 2917 A few days after a federal judge issued a Jan. 11 order commanding the state to “suspend all collection activity” against thousands of Michigan workers tagged with unemployment fraud,...