Two engineering contractors who have denied any responsibility of negligence for their role in the contamination of Flint’s water supply will go to trial in the US federal court in Ann Arbor, MI.
The contractors, Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newman (LAN), were not involved in the $626 Million USD settlement among more than 90,000 victims, the state of Michigan, and two other parties.
Jury selection began 15 February, following accusations from attorneys of four Flint children that the named contractors failed in their role to demand proper treatment of the water that was being abstracted from the Flint River between 2014-2015.
Inadequate water treatment efforts resulted in the exposure of thousands of residents, in the majority Black community, to waterborne legionella bacteria officially killing 12 people and sickening 90.
Veolia and LAN who worked at the water plant between 2014- 2015, deny any wrongdoing, instead claiming that water quality was not part of their assignment at the plant.
The defendants' attorneys claimed in a court filing that “The problems in Flint were not caused by the alleged failures of outside engineer” and instead were “entirely caused by the epic failure of the local and state and federal government at every level.”
The contractors deny any responsibility for the crisis; US District Judge Judith Levy has refused to dismiss the suit. It will go to trial in federal court in Ann Arbor.