Skubick: Coronavirus impacting Flint water court action


The coronavirus outbreak is now impacting out of court efforts to settle a host of class-action lawsuits over the Flint water crisis.  

The coronavirus story has nothing to do with the Flint water crisis, except now it does.

Many residents of Flint are party to a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit and, needless to say, they are anxious to collect from the state.

And last December, the governor reported for the first time all the parties were inching toward an out of court settlement.

“We’ve made some progress but there are a lot of parties involved,” said Whitmer.

But that was then, and now is now.

In the wake of the all-encompassing effort to beat the virus and save lives, the state attorney general, who is party to the class action suit, reports the climate has changed on when the settlement might be finalized.

“If you had talked to me a month ago, you might have had a different conversation,” explained Nessel. “But it’s very hard for me to answer those questions right now.”

Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin is one of those trying to reach a compromise on the cost.

But Ms. Nessel reports, “I know that there was a lot of discussion that had been underway and we were hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel prior to this health crisis. And all kinds of litigation that had been moving forward by our office and by the state of Michigan is a little bit in flux now.”

Which is code for, any settlement is not at hand as one public health crisis directly impacts another in our state.  

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