Home / Be The Change / Government Corruption / There’s Another Crime Happening in Flint, On Top of the Poisoning — The Victims Can’t Sue

There’s Another Crime Happening in Flint, On Top of the Poisoning — The Victims Can’t Sue


Flint, MI — “There’s real danger that the injury is going to be permanent and lifelong in them,” Dr. Philip Landrigan, Dean of Global Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said of the residents exposed to the water crisis in Flint. 

“The problem here is, no level of lead is safe,” Landrigan says. “Even low levels of lead — especially if exposure to low levels continues over many months — is going to cause some degree of brain damage to at least some of the children who have been exposed — that’s a big deal. Exposed children are at risk for a number of problems, including lower IQ scores, developmental delays, and behavioral issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Even after lead exposure stops, the effects can last for years or even be permanent.”

For the rest of their lives, the residents of Flint will watch their health deteriorate over time, and they will know exactly who is responsible — but will have no course of action to right their wrongs.

In any other instance in which an individual or group of individuals is harmed by another person or group, those individuals could seek damages. However, thanks to what is called the doctrine of sovereign immunity in the United States, the government cannot be sued unless it has waived its immunity or consented to the suit.

This principle is commonly expressed by the familiar, yet ancient and tyrannical legal maxim “rex non potest peccare,” meaning “the king can do no wrong.”

Since the king can do no wrong, all of the very real wrongs carried out by the ‘king’ or the state, in this instance, are deferred onto the backs of the taxpayers. Since the state has created the courts in which any suit would take place, they have the almighty option of not allowing said suit.

Because of this immoral immunity, according to Shikha Dalmia at The Week, some activist lawyers in Michigan have come up with a creative constitutional argument to try and surmount the sovereign immunity hurdle. They have filed a class action lawsuit on the grounds that the government failed to provide Flint residents with equal protection under the 14th Amendment. But this rationale is a stretch that many plaintiffs’ lawyers are having trouble buying. Indeed, Reuters reported that law firms representing Southern California residents in their own class-action lawsuits against the recent gas leak caused by Southern California Gas Co, owned by the non-governmental Sempra Energy, have so far declined to participate in the Flint lawsuit because they don’t think this reasoning will work.

Last week, President Obama announced that his administration will be giving a whopping $80 million in aid to Michigan to repair Flint’s water infrastructure. Also last week, the Michigan House approved emergency funding in the amount of $28 million to address the contamination crisis.

Combine this $108 million with the $5 million originally given from the federal government for Flint residents to purchase bottled water and filters, and that comes out to roughly $1,100 per each of Flints 99,763 residents. Is this fair?

The costs associated with raising a lead poisoned child or treating a lead poisoned adult for the rest of their lives are astronomical and make the $1,100 a vulgar insult to the Flint victims.

“These children are going to be injured for life. They’re going to need remedial education, they’re going to need educational enrichment programs,” Landrigan said to CBS News. “They’re kids who are going to be prevented from functioning at their full level.”

Aside from the $113 million not even coming close to helping the residents of Flint, it also comes nowhere close to correcting the problem. In a letter earlier this month to President Obama, Governor Snyder estimated it would cost $767,419,500 to replace Flint’s water system.

The federal government’s insultingly low offer doesn’t come close.

Had the residents of Flint been a fighter jet, however, the government would have had no problem throwing taxpayer promised dollars at them. Instead, the residents are forced to face this horror with no help from the ones responsible.

Had the residents of Flint been poisoned by a non-government entity, the idea of no compensation for damages would have people up in arms. Arrests may have already been made, and settlement negotiations would already be underway. But, sadly, since this criminal negligence was an act of the state, none of these things are likely going to happen.

As Stephen Carter points out, writing for Bloomberg, “If a private company distributed thousands of bottles of water with high levels of lead and other contaminants, lawsuits would chase it toward bankruptcy. So why should authorities in Michigan get a pass?”

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

  • Help us spread this important information and support justice for the people of flint!

  • no enough …this is a crime..

  • They just need to tear down the whole city declaring it non inhabitable relocate it’s ppl. That city has been in ruins for a very long time. There’s not much there to begin with. I lived there for one year and left. Probably the worst city iv ever been in..

  • Or they can loot the homes of GM, Ford, Dodge, and Nestle executives. I mean, it’s their fault, so they should be held accountable.

    • Finally someone else capable of looking at the big picture

    • You did forget Coke, Pepsi, Faygo, and other bottling companies

  • Had the residents of Flint been poisoned by a non-government entity, the idea of no compensation for damages would have people up in arms. Arrests may have already been made, and settlement negotiations would already be underway. But, sadly, since this criminal negligence was an act of the state, none of these things are likely going to happen.

    ~Matt Agorist

    • “Had the residents of Flint been poisoned by a non-government entity,”

      The lead in our rivers, lakes, and wells came from the auto industry. The scenario you explain is exactly what is going on! The citizens of Michigan were poisoned by the auto industry!

      Look at the status of the Flint and Saginaw Rivers….they are considered corrosive and no swimming is allowed

  • Just another reason this Independent Voter is a believer in Bernie Sanders; no scandals, no Super-PAC money, no DNC support, no mud-slinging and practically no media coverage. And, yet, he’s virtually even in national polls; he has a solid plan for the economy endorsed by top economist and he will leave the USA and the World better for my kids and grandkids… #ITrustBernie #AFutureToBelieveIn #Bernie2016 #BernieSanders #MedicareForAll c”,)

    • You have no idea about political theory or exenomics then. Larry government created these problems. A free market would have prevented this. Bernis is against free market and wants more government. He is a statist. If the government wasn’t powerful, then giant corporations would not be interested in manipulating that power…because that power wouldn’t exhist to be abused. Libertarianism is about limiting the possibility of abuse. Trading efficiency for effectiveness. Socialism is the exact opposite. Trading effectiveness for efficiency. A government controlled market that redistributes wealth, but it is open for abuses. You’re on the wrong website for talking about sanders

    • Actually take a look at his voting record…he has always voted for big banks and corporations. You’re an adult you can do this

    • There are many different economists and it all comes down to political theory. Von mises and kaynes are the two founding fathers of all economists. One side favors government intervention and the other free market. It’s like saying “a lot of politicians agree with sanders”….well that means absolutely nothing hahahaha the fact is you have no idea how politics or political theory, or economical theory works

    • If youre going to support bernise at least have the intellectual integrity to read kenyesian economics which is the ecenomic model he is following so you have a clue what bernie is talking about. Instead of mindlessly showing off what a good parot you are

    • Ambroise Chaccaron that is a lie. The only single vote in that direction is his vote to deregulate derivatives. One.

    • The only reason government is responsible is corporate license. The corporations poisoned water that was so clean in the 1700’s it didn’t need to even be boiled. Look up the history of the great lakes.

      Also many of you, without even realizing it, have a lead pipe running into your house. It was standard practice in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s to use lead lines to run from city water to your water meter. Go take a look at your main water shut off. If it is connected to a non-oxidized, non copper, semi-flexible pipe….it’s lead.

    • Katie Planis you have no idea what were talking about do you or how the Senate works. No its not a lie, you just don’t know how to use a computer. And you don’t understand what deregulation derivatives means. I’m not being paid to teach a child from the beggining. I’m here for the debate. If you have nothing intellectual to offer then please let an educated socialist speak instead of you

    • http://fee.org/files/doclib/20121116_economicsinonelesson.pdf

      I found this for you. It’s a great read for a quick economic study.

  • they need to petition the U N and call on them to persecute for crimes against humanity

    • I think you mean “prosecute”, plus the UN has no jurisdiction, and our country is the leading member in UN defense operations.

  • welcome to the america MONARCHY


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  • Bet if they were affluent, they could !

  • If you look at CDC reports ALL of Michigan is contaminated and has been for more than 50 years. Our state has been in the top 10 of lead poisoning reports for as long as I have been alive. It’s time the ones who destroyed our biggest resource to be held accountable General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler Automotive.

  • sovereign immunity? oligarchy.

  • that’s horrible – but expected that the government puts an $1,100. price tag on someone’s future!!!

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  • Obama is the worst president in the history of the US

  • BULLDOZE and REBUILD FLINT! That is the only way that Michigan city can be salvaged. Otherwise, much like the Maya abandoned Tikal, the residents will have to abandon their city.
    Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow should be awarded the Medal of Freedom for her role in bringing the situation in the Michigan city of Flint to this nation’s attention.

    Also, in the meanwhile, all that bottled water is nothing more than a temporary expedient. I’ll confess. Strictly off the top of my head, the costs that are sure to come with simply salvaging Flint will be horrendous.

    Just suppose the engineers and the technicians and the construction crews do nothing more than dig up and replace the corroded and still toxic water conduits. The associated cost could easily top seven hundred and fifty million dollars ($750,000,000).

    Oh, yes, and let’s not overlook the plumbing that directly serves various edifices such as houses, offices, stores, factories, place of worship et cetera. I strongly suspect removing, replacing and subsequent complying with code could easily reach another such amount.
    So, we’re already talking one point five billion dollars ($1,500,000,000). I profoundly doubt the entirety of Flint is worth that much!

    There will be no such thing as only removing and only replacing and only complying with code. All those activities will also involve disturbing adjacent conduits of all sorts. And once disturbed, they’ll have to be either repaired or replaced.

    Really, when we consider the billions and billions spent in nation building. Yes, I have in mind what was spent following the military misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    And that money was allegedly spent to benefit the indigenes. The extremely overwhelming majority of whom never wanted to have anything to do with this country’s intervention in their business.

    There’s more about our internal electoral repercussions to be found at the tail end of this refurbished post. It’s sad news for Hillary.

    Please let me, without reservation, affirm I am completely and absolutely in accord with the sentiment, expressed in the right-hand tile … AND in this case, especially in the left-hand tile.

    By the bye, that starry background, in my considered opinion, is appropriate for that world-renowned astronomer … and sage. What’s more, Dr Carl Sagan was indeed a man for all seasons.

    By way of the television show COSMOS, he achieved his personal pinnacle of popular acclaim. Some eighteen years after his death, it was revived with Neil DeGrasse Tyson assuming the duties of host. Incidentally, Dr Tyson appeared as himself in one episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

    Performing as a para-guest-star, he seemed rather apologetic about the “degradation” of Pluto. Other such para-guest-stars with comparable popular acclaim as Stephen Hawking and Bill Nye “the Science Guy” also made appearances thereon.

    Nobel Laureate George Smoot, a “confessed big fan”, also appeared in an episode. Performing as a para-guest-star, he exasperated Dr Sheldon Lee Cooper to the point of the latter’s exclaiming, “What a prima donna!” That drew a chuckle.

    Another chuckle came, when Dr Hawking posed a riddle with this question: “What do Dr Cooper and a black hole have in common?” And then, the man, whose Nobel is (as of this post) much over-due, answered with “They both suck”.

    Well, with regard to hell, it’s highly unlikely the man depicted against that starry background in that right-hand tile, ever believed there was such a place as hell. Just so happens, both his mother and father were Jewish.

    For the Visitor’s information, I consulted both Google and Bing with this query phrase: “Carl Sagan Jewish”. And by digging around a little more extensively, I came across this marvelous quote::: >>>>

    “In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it.

    “It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”

    GREAT QUOTE! I think … >>>

    It may take a little contemplation to comprehend how the text in the left-hand “charlatan” tile completely comports with this quote. Even so, I think this quote goes a long way towards gaining an insight into Carl’s heart and mind.

    Besides serving as a klieg light of sorts, this graphic with the twin tiles can be likened to the notorious X, inscribed on fantastical pirate treasure maps. The treasure that goes with this particular X has been stashed away in the section for VISITOR POSTS.

    Well, instead of treasure of gold doubloons, under this X, you’ll find several “Easter eggs”. The first one is a hyperlink, at the other end of which is a two-minute long commemoration of JFK with music and relevant images.

    I’m told that the music with the accompanying imagery gets people to tear up. Thanks to this American president, who’s become legendary on a world-wide magnitude, an American made a “giant leap”. Again, in my considered opinion, that giant leap made the moon a monument to American Western technology.

    Darn, darn … if only I could find a Carl Sagan quote that would indicate, however tenuously, he shared that opinion.

    Anyway, this clip has relevance to Carl. He along with other noteworthy people joyously participated in the CBS presentation of “25th Anniversary of the Moon Landing”.

    Besides being the second of two Easter eggs, the next is also another of three hyperlinks. The second is particular interesting in that the subject is Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin , who followed in the footsteps of the first man to walk on the moon.
    There’s a bit more foreword to be found under the aforementioned marker. Here’s a question, before you go searching,

    “Just suppose the man shown against that starry background in the twin-tile graphic had, years earlier, invited you over to his home to play cribbage. Beforehand, would (?) you have troubled yourself enough to learn the game!”

    As for that third hyperlink, I don’t quite consider it an Easter egg. Still, the Visitor will have to search for it in the section for VISITOR POSTS.

    … oh, yeah, as promised (as of this posting of 2016/01/30) … the longer that Michigan Republican governor stays in office, the more damage gets done to his political party. It even damages Hillary’s campaign.

    Here I’ll keep it short and sweet. When she voted for the Iraq War, she also voted for the consequences thereof. And that means she committed herself to living with those consequences. As if to pile on, the WOUNDED WARRIORS Project goes a long toward reminding this country’s electorate, granted far from explicitly, that Hillary voted to injure this country.

    DARN, DARN and DARN! … something tells me I’m going to get lots of blow-back for this crack … still, I’m completely incapable of restraining myself … I must, I must either regale or enrage you, dear Visitor ::::
    “That woman has been running for president, ever since she said, ‘I do’.”

    .. oh, yeah, before you start searching for those aforementioned Easter eggs, you should be informed you’ll find a few more such.

  • If you can’t sue ’em, shoot ’em.

  • I just want to scream as loud as I can…. Where are the morals & law for these folks ?? Its a sick sick deal……… the people responsible for this should be thrown in jail with only bread & FLINT WATER daily !!

  • “You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up.” — George Carlin

  • Time to tar and feather anyone in the government supporting this.

  • The families should get a repiping of their water pipes and bottled water delivered to their homes for the next year.

  • Yeah America. Champions of the world poisoning their own people. Wait. Happened in Iraq too. There it was called gonocide and the American armed forces went in to save everbody. Yea. That worked out really well too.

  • You want the true face and voice of Flint?!
    Then stfu and listen.

  • Horrible