Former Sen. Carl Levin nominated as mediator in Flint water class action suits

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DETROIT (WJRT) (1/9/2018) - Attorneys involved in the class action civil lawsuits stemming from Flint water crisis are expected to appear in federal court on Thursday for the next steps in the case.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy has filed documents with the court to nominate retired U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Detroit and former Wayne County Chief Judge Pro Tem Pamela Harwood to serve as mediators in the case.

Attorneys involved in the case have until Wednesday afternoon to object to either appointment and nominate someone else.

Ten separate class action lawsuits and 50 civil lawsuits representing residents and business owners in Flint affected by the water crisis were consolidated into a single case on Sept. 29.

Several state government officials, including Gov. Rick Snyder, are named as defendants in the case. The plaintiffs are seeking a financial judgment as compensation for their pain and suffering caused by the water crisis.

The water crisis started in April 2014, when Flint's drinking water source was switched from the Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit to the Flint River. However, officials at all levels of government are accused of failing to ensure the more corrosive river water was properly treated.

As a result, the protective linings wore away inside lead-based water pipes serving Flint residences and businesses, causing traces of lead to enter the drinking water supply.

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