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.

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,...

Detroit News Covers Pitt Led Flint Suit Against EPA

More than 1,700 Flint-area residents and property owners have filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the “mishandling” of the city’s water crisis in a legal action seeking more than $722.4 million in damages. The...

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...