FLINT, Mich. (AP) – A judge declared a mistrial Thursday after jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict in a dispute over whether two engineering firms should bear some responsibility for Flint’s lead-contaminated water.
Four families accused Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, known as LAN, of not doing enough to get Flint to treat the highly corrosive water or to urge a return to a regional water supplier.
A mistrial was declared in federal court in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said Tarrah Cooper Wright, a spokeswoman for Veolia.
After hearing months of evidence, the jury began deliberations on July 25 but also took a planned 11-day break before returning Tuesday.
Flint’s water became contaminated in 2014-15 because water pulled from the Flint River wasn’t treated to reduce the corrosive effect on lead pipes.
Veolia and LAN, which performed work for Flint at the water plant, said bad decisions by state and local officials caused the crisis.
Veolia and LAN were not part of a landmark $626 million settlement involving Flint residents, the state of Michigan and other parties.