Federal Judge John Corbett O’Meara Sends Cases For Flint Lead Poisoned Children Back To Genesee County

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Judge John Corbett O’Meara issued an order today, clearly stating that there is no federal jurisdiction for the cases thus far filed by New York-based law firm Levy Konigsberg LLP, and the Flint-based Robinson Carter & Crawford PLLC, for sixty-four families on behalf of 144 children who were lead poisoned as a result of the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis.

Judge John Corbett O’Meara issued an order today, clearly stating that there is no federal jurisdiction for the cases thus far filed by New York-based law firm Levy Konigsberg LLP, and the Flint-based Robinson Carter & Crawford PLLC, for sixty-four families on behalf of 144 children who were lead poisoned as a result of the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis.

The order was entered in Sasha Bell v. Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, P.C., et al. The federal case number is 16-10825. The Sasha Bell case was originally filed in Michigan State Court in the Genesee County Circuit Court (case no. 16-106337). The result of Judge O’Meara’s order is that the case will now be returned to Michigan State Court where it will be litigated along with the other similar cases involving lead poisoned children in Flint.

Judge O’Meara’s Order also awarded attorney’s fees and costs to plaintiff’s counsel, stating:

“It is clear that Defendant [Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, P.C.] lacked an objectively reasonable basis for removal here, as demonstrated by the dearth of case law cited in support of its position. Indeed, the applicable Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit precedent all point in the same direction: remand … [a]ccordingly, the court
will grant Plaintiff’s request for attorney fees incurred in filing her motion for remand.”

The 64 complaints, each 40 pages in length, name six corporate entities that had various responsibilities with respect to the treatment, monitoring, and safety of the Flint water prior to and during the Flint Water Crisis. The corporations include: Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc., based in Houston, Texas; Rowe Engineering, Inc., based in Flint, Michigan; and Veolia North America, Inc., a Chicago-based company. The lawsuits also name 3 individual government, or former government, employees who played significant roles in the alleged misconduct that led to the alleged poisoning of thousands of children in Flint.

For more information, please contact attorney Corey Stern at Levy Konigsberg, LLP.

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Jerome Block
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