It isn’t unreasonable for people to assume that their drinking water will be free from contaminants that could cause potential health problems. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are times when water systems can become contaminated, and anyone who drinks water from a compromised source may experience serious illnesses. One of the instances in which this occurred was in Flint, Michigan. It was during this time, now called the Flint Water Crisis, that the people of Flint were receiving drinking water from the Flint River, a toxic water source, instead of from Lake Huron, a fresh source. Once it was discovered that the water was toxic, it was covered up.
This affected mostly children in the area, with some sustaining serious and permanent brain damage. Just last week, six former and current state employees were charged in a criminal investigation associated with the Flint Water Crisis, with allegations claiming that the parties attempted to cover up the potential of lead poisoning. Despite already going through more than 200 interviews and eight months of work, the investigation is still ongoing. Moving forward, there could be more charges brought forward, but so far the total amount of officials facing charges is at nine.
An NBC News report from June estimates that there are more than 5,000 water systems throughout the United States that are in violation of rules that are meant to keep our drinking water free of lead. The Flint Water Crisis is the latest example, but it certainly isn’t the only situation in the nation where it is happening. There are countless other cities and towns that are in danger. In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that in 2015, the 5,363 contaminated water systems served drinking water to more than 18 million people.
Lead is a toxic element, affecting the nerve cells and the brain, often leading to behavioral issues and irreversible brain damage. The NRDC stated that in order to fix the growing problems involving contaminated water systems, the United States would need to spend roughly $1 trillion over the next 25 years. It is important to find a way to not only fix these types of problems, but also to hold people accountable when they cover it up to protect themselves from any type of criminal investigation.
When contaminated water systems cause harm to anyone, especially children, it can be devastating. You need someone who understands these situations and has been able to successfully handle legal matters involving contaminated water systems before. This can help you seek compensation for the conditions or illnesses sustained as a result of consuming contaminated water. Before you move forward, make sure the team you hire to represent you has experience in these types of cases and knows how to protect your rights against large corporations and even state or local officials.
At Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, our Baltimore environmental tort attorneys have experience handling cases involving contaminated water. We were part of the Constellation Power Generation case involving hundreds of families who had contaminated drinking wells. We helped them receive compensation for their injuries, losses in property value, and more. We have also helped with water contamination cases involving nitrates and coal ash. Our firm has the necessary resources to help clients move forward after these types of situations.
Dealing with a contaminated water or anotherenvironmental tort case? Learn more about how our team can help you.