Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette has provided more information about an investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint. The media storm surrounding cases of lead poisoning in the city at first overlooked Legionnaires’ disease, but recent probes have brought the outbreak to the public’s attention. Aging city infrastructure, combined with a water supply that may have been contaminated with Legionella bacteria, led to the outbreak that claimed at least 12 lives last year in the embattled city.
The Attorney General’s office has been pursuing this investigation for two months. It has now announced that the investigation may lead to charges as serious as involuntary manslaughter. Legal recourse for victims of government negligence is limited, but the aptly named Special Prosecutor Todd Flood promised to engage experts and members of the community.
The investigation has already been expensive, but has so far led to the bringing of criminal charges against five employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Two state employees from another department already face charges of concealing test results in the lead poisoning scandal. Flood has stated that the investigation will target those who concealed information or committed crimes, rather than those who made mistakes.
At the same time, Genesee County announced its fourth confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease this year, a decrease from this time last year.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.