Flint Families Launch Class-Action Lawsuit Against Michigan Governor Over Water Crisis

Flint Residents File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Gov. Rick Snyder
Mike Ahrens of Muskegon, Mich., poses for photo with his sign about Flint's water crisis Monday
Junfu Han/The Ann Arbor/AP

03/08/2016 AT 11:10 AM EST

Seven families have filed a class-action lawsuit against Michigan Governor Rick Snyder over the lead-laced water crisis in Flint. The lawsuit also names other state and city officials.

In the lawsuit, the families allege that their children are the victims of developmental disabilities that stem from the high levels of lead they ingested when Michigan switched Flint's water source from Detroit's system to the Flint River to cut costs. Without corresponding treatment for lead levels, the water flowing from Flint residents' taps smelled and tasted strange, though it took over a year for testing to reveal high levels of lead and for Flint citizens' water to be switched back.

The group's lawsuit cites the Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law that establishes guidelines for safe public drinking water throughout the country, set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It's not the first lawsuit filed, but it is the most recent.



As the political conversation begins to focus on Flint – Democratic presidential nominees Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both condemned Snyder, though GOP nominees have remained mostly silent – more eyes are on Flint: Michigan is the largest of four states holding primary contests on Tuesday. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama approved federal funding for the majority black city of nearly 100,000.
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