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.

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...

Free Press Discusses UIA Fraud with PMP&R's Lord

From the Detroit Free Press LANSING, MI ‑‑ Months after Grand Rapids resident Jonna Ferguson stopped collecting unemployment in the mail, she got a letter saying she owned the state $20,000. "Opening a letter that says that I had defrauded the...

McGehee and MCHR Prepare for Freedom Tour

From the Detroit Free Press Two dozen students wielded rakes, brooms and garbage bags Saturday as they cleaned up Viola Liuzzo Park in northwest Detroit. The group plans to travel in June to the Deep South, then spend a week touring sites of civil...

WSU Professor Awarded $300K in Age Discrimination Case

[caption id="attachment_1378" align="alignleft" width="225"] Dr. Karen Hrapkiewicz[/caption] Wayne State University is appealing a jury verdict received by veterinary professor Dr. Karen Hrapkiewicz in an age discrimination action handled by firm...

McGehee Featured on WXYZ TV Spotlight Program

Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers Partner Cary McGehee was featured on the April 17 edition of WXYZ TV 7's Spotlight on the News program to discuss class action lawsuits the firm has filed as a result of the Flint water crisis. Spotlight on the...