Oh what’s that, poisoned city? You might try to seek damages for our knowing abuse of your citizens? That’s cute and all, but your right to sue the state is hereby revoked!
We’re not sure how Michigan pulled this one off, but the state has removed Flint’s ability to sue after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver suggested that the city might lodge a suit against Michigan for its mishandling of the lead crisis.
That’s one way to keep your controversy off of the front page!
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Through a controlling board called the Receivership Transition Advisory Board, the state was able to block Flint from being able to lodge a lawsuit of any kind without first getting permission from the state at large.
Considering the only lawsuit Flint was considering is against the entity to which they must now seek permission, we can guess what the state’s intentions were in making this slight rule change.
When confronted with the formal Intent to Sue from Flint back in March of this year, state officials were insulted and infuriated by what they considered to a lack of gratitude for the work they were doing for Flint.
Apparently when you provide bottled water to band-aid the long-term issue of lead poisoning that your negligence caused, that’s a form of generosity, not ass-covering.
Weaver responded to the rule change by wondering if that meant Flint was thereby exempt from all debts and obligations incurred by the city while under state control. Clearly, if they want to control the city’s autonomy to such a drastic level, they cannot expect Flint to be responsible for any actions performed under state leadership.
This action is clearly a gross misuse of a special committee. If a city wants to sue a state, it should not be up to the state to decide whether that suit can be lodged. Flint should be able to reach out for some sort of federal recourse so that the lead-poisoned families of Flint may find some justice and face in court those who caused them harm.