Over the course of 2014 and 2015, approximately a dozen people died from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease during Flint’s water crisis. Now it appears as though some of the next steps regarding a potential prosecution are moving ahead. To start, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon is scheduled to restart his preliminary examination this Friday, Jan. 19 and is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter along with misconduct in office. This is significant because Lyon appears to be one of the state public health officials who was aware of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in the Flint area as well as the potential causes months before almost anyone else.
By next Monday, January 22nd, attorneys representing Darnell Earley, the former Flint emergency manger, are scheduled to return to District Court for a motion hearing and by the following week, January 29th, two Department of Health and Human Services employees are scheduled to undergo their preliminary examinations. There are additional potential prosecutions moving forward over the next month however overall, these developing stories have shown many that the search for answers regarding the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area and the water crisis as a whole is far from over.
Clearly there are still many unanswered questions regarding this case and furthermore, for fully understanding how such a tragedy can be assured to never happen again. That said, these developments do show that the determination to fully understand the causes of this outbreak is still strong and that hopefully, additionally answers can be provided to the public and those personally harmed over the weeks and months to come.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.