MIDLAND, Mich. - "You had tens of thousands of people in the middle of the night being kicked out of their houses."
That's Saginaw attorney Ven Johnson whose taken on hundreds of clients in aftermath of the Edenville dam collapse near Midland over the summer.
And he's got two bits of advice for anyone affected by the flood: Nov. 18 and Nov. 30.
Those are the two timelines that victims have to pay attention to. One is against the company that operated the dam at the time: Boyce Hydro LLC. They're filing for bankruptcy and also being sued for negligence.
"It's really to tell the bankruptcy judge, 'I know that Boyce is trying to declare bankruptcy, but I'm making a claim against Boyce officially in the bankruptcy court, so don't forget about me," said Johnson.
The deadline for that claim is Nov. 30. If victims don't file a claim by then, they don't have a claim against the company.
The state of Michigan is the other player being sued. Victims will have to get a lawyer and file a notice requirement by Nov. 18.
"Now that you've obliterated my house and all my property I'm putting you on notice I'm going to hold you accountable," said Johnson. "Insane, but that's Michigan law. So - the attorney general's office, I love Dana Nessel but we missed the boat on this one, literally."
Johnson estimates that would require clients each acquiring their own attorney.
"The fact of the matter is, they are absolutely making us do this on behalf of all of our clients. So you're looking at somewhere around 3,000 or more people that have to file claims about something they already know about," said Johnson.
A spokesperson with Nessel's office said prior to the failure of the dam, the state was working to transition the dam away from Boyce so local governments could make repairs. But then the dam failed before they could do so.
The spokesperson added it's the dam's owner and not the state that's responsible for this tragedy.