“A lot of us will never trust tap water again”
Our first report on the Flint Water Crisis noted that research teams initially studied the obviously contaminated tap water of Flint resident LeeAnne Walters, whose 4-year old son had been diagnosed with lead poisoning.
Walters is now filing a lawsuit against government officials and corporate entities, whose bureaucratic bungling and lack of response led to the crisis.
The Flint mother who told federal lawmakers her house was “ground zero” for lead-contaminated water has filed a lawsuit against those she says are responsible for poisoning her children.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, March 3, in Genesee Circuit Court by LeeAnne Walters, names multiple corporate entities and three current and former government employees for their role in the city’s water crisis.
Walters claims her four children have been exposed to extremely high levels of lead and have experienced brain development injuries, cognitive deficits and other problems.
“It’s time for the kids to be heard,” Walters’ attorney, Corey Stern said. “With so much talk among officials, heads of corporations, and the media, the reality of what happened to these children – and how it will affect each of them for the rest of their lives – has been drowned out in the noise.”
Walters’ water is featured in this USA Today video summarizing the serious contamination problem.
She is not the only one lawyering-up, either. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has just hired two outside lawyers at state expense to assist with civil representation and to trough a myriad of records connected to Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis.
New analysis that addresses the infrastructure problems that are key contributors to this mess estimates that it will cost over $300 billion to fix the lines in Flint and elsewhere in the country.
More than 6 million lead service lines exist across the country, according to estimates cited by Fitch. Many of these are located in the Northeast, Midwest and older urban areas.
“We believe the capital costs to replace these lines could exceed $275 billion,” Fitch said.
The EPA’s latest survey estimated the entire sector needs $385 billion in water infrastructure improvements through 2030, and this estimate includes the costs to only partially replace lead pipes, according to the rating agency.
In conclusion, while politicians have been racing to spend money on social and diversity programs, infrastructure issues that are critical to public health and safety has been neglected. This neglect will have profound consequences during the 2016 election and beyond.
“A lot of us will never trust tap water again,” [Flint resident Desiree] Duell said in a recent phone interview. “We have PTSD from it.”