State bans Flint from suing

Monday, September 19, 2016 - 11:07pm

The State of Michigan has taken away Flint’s ability to sue the state this week after the city’s threat to file a lawsuit, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The city’s five-member Receivership Transition Advisory Board, which is instituted by the state and has partial control over the city’s government, has modified the city’s abilities such that it must get permission from the board to file a lawsuit.

According to the Free Press, the change comes in response to Flint filing a notice with the intent to sue the State of Michigan on March 24 over the lead contamination of its water supply while the city was under full state control.

State officials demanded that Flint withdraw the notice, fearing the lawsuit could damage the state’s budget along with creating more conflict, according to the Free Press. While Flint Mayor Karen Weaver stated publically she had no intention of going through with the lawsuit, the notice to intent criticized environmental agencies in Michigan for their negligence.

Under state law, Flint had 180 days from the time it realized it had a claim against the state to file before the city lost its power to sue in the future. March 24 was the 180th day.

Anna Heaton, spokesperson for Gov. Rick Synder (R), told the Free Press she will be working with Flint’s mayor and city council on next steps. Heaton said taking away Flint’s ability to sue demonstrates the state’s intent to work with Flint to support the city and give compensation for the damages caused by the water crisis.