FLINT (WWJ/AP) – A federal lawsuit says Flint’s water problems are due to the negligence of state and local officials.

Several families sued last week in Detroit. The suit alleges victims have suffered a range of medical conditions from the water. The lawsuit seeks compensation, a medical monitoring fund and more oversight of Flint’s water system.

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The Detroit News reports it seeks class-action status, naming more than a dozen city and state officials.

Cary McGehee represents nine residents so far in the federal suit over the lead poisoning that happened after the State appointed emergency manager switched the city away from Detroit Water and back to water from the Flint River.

McGhee says the residents have suffered everything from skin lesions to cognitive problems in their children.

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“It’s heartbreaking, it’s heart-wrenching – I listen to these stories of these residents who have children and they talk about … their biggest responsibility as a parent is to protect their children and they feel so hopeless, and they feel like they’ve been duped by governmental officials and were using the water and all the while it’s damaging them and their children,” said McGehee.

Flint switched from Detroit’s water system last year to Flint River water in a cost-cutting move while under state emergency financial management. Officials maintained the water met safety standards, but children were found to have elevated blood-lead levels.

On Monday, groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the ACLU said they’ll sue if issues aren’t resolved.

 

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