News

Pitt Quoted in Free Press Story on City of Flint Fighting Water Class Action

From April 18 Edition of the Detroit Free Press A group of Flint residents suing over the water crisis is dealing with the immunity argument again, this time in a challenge from local officials. In a court filing today, the City of Flint asked a federal judge to dismiss a class-action against it on immunity grounds. The State of Michigan did the same thing two weeks ago in the same lawsuit. Flint residents are seeking to hold the city and state liable for allegedly exposing them to toxic water and causing a host of health issues. They want money and the water problem fixed --- though both defendants claim they're immune from liability under the U.S. Constitution. "We're trying to move them in the right direction. Lawsuits are like cattle-prods --- they move people in the right direction," said Michael Pitt, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit. Pitt also accused the defendants of misinterpreting the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to "try to deflect their responsibility." "Congress, in enacting the SDWA, did not intend to deprive injured water users of their right to obtain fair compensation for the egregious acts of these government employees responsible for the poisoning of an entire community," Pitt said. "Phony legal arguments will not protect them, and they will be held accountable." The lawsuit, which was filed in November, seeks to hold state and local authorities liable for allegedly endangering the health of Flint residents by exposing them to toxic water when Flint switched its drinking water from the Detroit system to the Flint River. It alleges that local and state officials unnecessarily exposed them to toxic public water for more than 18 months, resulting in physical and psychological injuries, including high levels of lead in their bloodstreams; skin lesions and hair loss; chemically induced hypertension; autoimmune disorders; seizure-like convulsions; depression, and chronic anxiety. The lawsuit seeks compensation for Flint residents' physical injuries and property damages and asks that the State of Michigan undertake future corrective action, including lifetime medical monitoring for all the children injured by the tainted water.

Crain's Interviews Lord in UIA Review Story

From Crain's Detroit Weekly January 6, 2017 LANSING — The state's embattled unemployment agency said Friday it will review all computer-identified claims of benefits fraud — more than 30,000 — that until now have not been re-examined after...

Jennifer Lord Speaks to WNYC About What's Next for UIA

Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers Partner Jennifer Lord spoke to John Hockenberry at WNYC in NY. A summary is below. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency reviewed over 20,000 instances where the state accused citizens of fraudulently seeking...

ABA: Who's To Blame for Poisoning of Flint Water?

For LeeAnne Walters, the first sign of trouble came in the summer of 2014, when her 4-year-old son Gavin developed rashes after coming into contact with the water. In July, Gavin and his twin, Garrett, both suffered scaly patches of skin that...

Pitt Takes on Whistleblower Case for Judicial Watchdog

From Courthouse News DETROIT (CN) – The former head of Michigan’s judicial disciplinary board claims he was fired for recommending a formal complaint be filed against a child-jailing judge (Lisa Gorcyca), disagreeing with the view that she is...

McGehee Featured on WXYZ 7 Spotlight on the News

Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers Partner Cary McGehee was a featured guest Sunday, September 4 on Chuck Stokes' WXYZ TV 7 "Spotlight on the News" program to discuss her mentorship and involvement in the 2016 Freedom Tour. You can see the entire...

Pitt Named VP of Washington Based Public Justice

Royal Oak, Mich., August 23, 2016 – Royal Oak attorney Michael Pitt was recently selected Vice President of Public Justice. Public Justice is a Washington, D.C.-based national public interest firm of 14 lawyers which fights injustices through...

Detroit News Covers Warren Whistleblower Lawsuit

From the Detroit News: Warren — A former city planner who resigned nearly two years ago is awaiting a federal judge’s decision on a whistleblower lawsuit that alleges Warren officials forced him out of the job. Kenneth Bouchard, who served as...

Lord Whistleblower Client's Case Aired on Fox 2

WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - He blew the whistle on his boss while working for the city of Warren, but claims he paid the price when he questioned what he believed was illegal activity. Meet Ken Bouchard. He worked for the city of Warren coordinating tax...

Jennifer Lord Named to 2016 Women in the Law

Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers Partner Jennifer Lord has been selected as one of 2016 Women in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Lord was honored September 16 at the legal newpaper's seventh annual luncheon and awards celebrating those who...