More Flint Water Lawsuits Dismissed

The Federal District Court recently dismissed two more cases involving contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan. Similar to Boler et al. v Early et al., the plaintiffs in Mays et al. v Snyder et al. filed suit under §1983 of the Civil Rights Act claiming their constitutional rights were violated by the contaminated drinking water. Judge O’Meara, who also presided over the Boler case, dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims finding the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) provides a comprehensive enforcement mechanism that demonstrates a congressional intent to preclude suits for depravations of constitutional rights.

Judge O’Meara also dismissed Myia et al. v Snyder et al., another Flint water case. While the Myia plaintiffs asserted a SDWA claim, they ran afoul of its jurisdictional requirements. Before any civil action can be commenced under the SDWA, the plaintiffs must provide notice to the proposed defendants 60 days prior to filing suit. A notice provision is common in many environmental statutes including Michigan’s environmental remediation statute. The notice provision is mandatory and when not provided, the matter must be dismissed.

Not a good start for some City of Flint water plaintiffs.