Flint residents sue EPA in $220 million lawsuit for water crisis

The people of Flint join forces to take on the EPA.

The people of Flint join forces to take on the EPA. They're filing a new class action lawsuit seeking $220 million in damages over the lead water crisis.

It has been called a "failure at all levels of government" but this latest class action complaint takes aim at the Environmental Protection Agency.

"They are responsible for what happened, they could have prevented a number of the injuries to our clients," said attorney Michael Pitt.

Pitt, one of the attorneys filing this class action complaint against the Environmental Protection Agency - accusing it of negligence failing to protect the people of Flint - seeking $220 million in damages.

"Their job is to be the watchdog," said Jan Burgess, who filed a complaint with the EPA in Oct. 2014 - just six months after the switch to the Flint River - alleging serious wrongdoing once she found out General Motors was refusing to use the water because it was corroding their equipment.

"I felt it was a really, really serious issue," Burgess said. "I got a response from them that was just nothing but I don't know - I guess I'd call it verbal vomit."

Burgess had already complained to the city but was told to contact the EPA who didn't contact her for a year and a half. Long after one of the EPA's own investigators had discovered the lead problem - and tried to sound the alarms.

"We met with EPA investigators April 9th and they apologized for dropping the ball," Pitt said.

"It was disgusting then and it's still disgusting," Burgess said. "Somebody needs to be watch-dogging the watchdogs because obviously there were not doing their jobs."

The current complaint was filed on behalf of more than 500 residents of Flint, but 250 more will be added next week. A spokesperson for the EPA says they are reviewing the complaint.

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