Facts from the courtroom

Stay informed with the latest facts surrounding the case.

July 15, 2022

VNA had no role in causing, prolonging, or worsening the Flint water crisis

From May 27, 2022 – July 13, 2022, Veolia North America (VNA) presented their case in the Flint Water Crisis bellwether trial.

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July 15, 2022

Author of Flint memo censored by EPA aligned with VNA on need for corrosion control

In late June and early July, Miguel Del Toral’s deposition was played in court. Mr. Del Toral was a long-time employee of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who helped expose the Flint Water Crisis. In June 2015, he authored a memo warning of lead problems in Flint and the failure of the City and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to take appropriate action in response, but his report was censured by the EPA and not publicly released until six months later.

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July 15, 2022

Snyder’s office was besieged by complaints just months after Flint water switch

On July 12, 2022, Dennis Muchmore testified in court. Muchmore served as Chief of Staff to Governor Snyder prior to and during the Flint Water Crisis. As Chief of Staff, he communicated with Snyder directly regarding Flint’s water issues and informed him of the various water quality concerns as they arose, including the likelihood that the City’s water contained lead.

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July 13, 2022

Nancy Peeler pleads the 5th, refuses to answer questions on what she knew about Flint

On July 13, 2022, VNA called Nancy Peeler to the witness stand. Ms. Peeler was Director of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) during the Flint Water Crisis. In this role, Ms. Peeler had access to blood lead test results for children in Flint throughout the crisis but failed to identify and report a significant jump in lead levels, claiming that any change was attributed to normal, seasonal variation.

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July 8, 2022

Officials rejected return to Detroit Water even after water quality issues were known in Flint

On July 7, 2022, the jury heard from Susan McCormick, the former Director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) during the time of the Flint Water Crisis. Ms. McCormick was involved in negotiations with the City of Flint regarding a potential long-term water supply contract, which was rejected by government officials in favor of using the Flint River as an interim water source until the KWA pipeline could be built.

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July 8, 2022

Dr. John Gaitanis warns against using bone lead tests as evidence: “no better than a coin flip”

On July 6, Dr. John Gaitanis, MD testified in court. Dr. Gaitanis is the Chief of Pediatric Neurology at Tufts Children’s Hospital. He is a highly credentialed, practicing physician. Dr. Gaitanis is a graduate of Brown Medical School, he completed his fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – a world-class teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School – and has 23 peer-reviewed publications and over 30 published chapters and abstracts within highly prestigious medical journals, including JAMA, the Journal of Child Neurology and Annals of Neurology.

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July 6, 2022

Michigan Department of Treasury rejected the possibility of Flint returning to Detroit water multiple times

On June 30 and July 5, Wayne Workman’s video deposition was played in court. Mr. Workman worked for the Michigan Treasury Department during the Flint Water Crisis, where he was responsible for staffing and overseeing the State of Michigan’s emergency manager program. In this role, Mr. Workman supervised Flint’s emergency managers throughout the crisis and was involved in evaluating the option of returning Flint to DWSD as the crisis unfolded.

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June 30, 2022

Ethics expert – VNA met the standard of care in the performance of their duties

On June 28, VNA called Dr. William Bellamy to the stand. Dr. Bellamy has a Ph.D. in Civil/Environmental Engineering and has worked as a water treatment engineer for nearly half a century. In addition to his hands-on expertise, Dr. Bellamy is also an expert in engineering ethics.

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June 29, 2022

Darnell Earley invokes his 5th Amendment right to avoid answering questions about Flint

On June 22 and 28, 2022, Darnell Earley’s video deposition was played in court. Mr. Earley was appointed to serve as Emergency Manager in Flint from October 2013 to January 2015 by former Governor Rick Snyder. During this time, he oversaw the City’s transition in water source from DWSD to the Flint River in April 2014.

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June 23, 2022

Testimony – EPA was aware of a serious lead problem unfolding in Flint by February 2015

On June 21 and 22, 2022, Jennifer Crooks’ deposition was played in court. Ms. Crooks was the Program Manager for Michigan’s Drinking Water Program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the crisis in Flint. Her role was to ensure that Michigan had adequate resources and expertise to comply with the Safe Water Drinking Act.

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June 22, 2022

Forensic psychologist David Thompson’s testimony – What you need to know

On June 21, 2022, the jury heard from Dr. David Thompson, a board-certified forensic psychologist with a specialty in child psychology. Dr. Thompson has more than 35 years of real-world experience evaluating, treating, and advocating for children.

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June 17, 2022

Water supervisor Busch advised against VNA’s recommendation to use corrosion control in Flint

On June 16, 2022, Stephen Busch testified in court. Mr. Busch was the water supervisor for District 8 (Lansing) at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) from 2012 to 2016. Despite being aware as early as 2012 that the Flint River was highly corrosive, he gave the approval to Flint officials to move forward with the water switch without the use of corrosion control treatment. Later, when Mr. Busch became aware of a pervasive lead problem in Flint, he still did not mandate corrosion control treatment and even advised against VNA’s recommendation to do so, citing the Flint River as a temporary water source.

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June 17, 2022

Dr. Gagnon: VNA’s recommendations to the City of Flint were consistent with scientific knowledge

On June 13, 14 and 16, 2022, Dr. Graham Gagnon testified in court. Dr. Gagnon is a civil engineering professor in the Department of Civil & Resource Engineering at Dalhousie University and an expert on drinking water quality and treatment. He has over 25 years of experience and has worked on drinking water research projects across Canada and the United States.

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June 14, 2022

Water supervisor Robert Bincsik: Flint Plant was in a state of disrepair at the time of the switch to the Flint River

On June 9 and June 13, 2022, Robert Bincsik testified in court. Mr. Bincsik was the Water Distribution and Sewer Maintenance Supervisor in Flint, responsible for the City’s water distribution system. He worked closely with his counterpart, Mike Glasgow, who was responsible for the operation of the Flint Water Treatment Plant (FWTP). Both Bincsik and Glasgow vehemently opposed the City’s decision to switch Flint’s water source and raised concerns about the FWTP’s ability to produce and distribute safe drinking water. However, their concerns were dismissed.

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June 10, 2022

Testimony – Officials knew there was a serious lead problem in Flint and withheld information

On June 8-9, VNA engineer Marvin Gnagy testified in court. Plaintiffs’ attorneys did somersaults to distract from the fact that government officials, who are responsible for the Flint Water Crisis, knew there was a serious lead problem in Flint and withheld this information from both VNA and the public.

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June 10, 2022

Testimony – Flint City officials were unwilling to consider return to Detroit water

On June 7-8, 2022, William Fahey testified in court. Mr. Fahey is the Head of the Technical Group for Veolia North America. He provided technical support to VNA’s engineers, including Marvin Gnagy and Thepin Chen, that were onsite at the Flint Water Treatment Plant (FWTP).

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June 8, 2022

Water analyst Adam Rosenthal knew Flint Water Treatment Plant was not ready to treat water

On June 1 and June 7, 2022, Adam Rosenthal’s deposition was played in court. Rosenthal was an environmental water quality analyst at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), which fast-tracked Flint’s plans to withdraw water from the Flint River and failed to require the City to add corrosion control to protect against lead contamination.

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June 2, 2022

Dr. Bithoney’s testimony confirms that Flint Water Crisis was in full effect long before VNA ever arrived in Flint

On May 16, May 31 and June 1, 2022, the jury heard from Dr. William Bithoney, a paid witness for the plaintiffs with a long history of working for the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

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May 27, 2022

Howard Croft ignored important warning signs showing Flint water was corrosive

On May 23-26, Howard Croft’s deposition was played in court. Croft served as Director of the Flint Department of Public Works, which was responsible for the provision of safe drinking water in Flint, from December 2011 through November 2015, when he resigned.

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May 17, 2022

Forensic economist Gary Crakes’ opinions on Flint fail to consider critical factors

On May 16, 2022, Gary Crakes took the stand. Crakes is a forensic economist who was paid by plaintiffs’ counsel to provide an opinion on potential economic damages they argue the plaintiffs will experience due to lead exposure. Crakes, a professional expert witness, testified that he has a longstanding business relationship with the plaintiffs’ lawyers, having been retained by their firm in 75-80 prior cases on behalf of plaintiffs.

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May 13, 2022

Mira Krishnan’s unscientific neuropsychological review – What you need to know

On May 10-11, 2022, clinical psychologist Dr. Mira Krishnan took the stand. Dr. Krishnan was paid by plaintiffs’ counsel to complete a neuropsychological review of each of the four plaintiffs, which showed all the plaintiffs’ IQ, cognitive, and behavioral scores fell within the expected ranges for their respective ages and genders. Dr. Krishnan met each plaintiff one time, very briefly, in a law office rather than a medical setting in 2020. She has no baseline from which to compare each plaintiff’s cognitive and behavioral abilities before and after the crisis, and therefore no way to measure cognitive or behavioral changes for each of the plaintiffs from before and after the Flint Water Crisis.

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May 9, 2022

VNA was powerless to intervene as City of Flint officials chose to ignore most recommendations

On May 4th, 5th, and 9th 2022, water resources engineer Richard Humann took the stand. Mr. Humann is a paid witness for the plaintiffs who, in his own report, found the Flint Water Crisis to be “a story of government failure, inaction, delay and environmental injustice.” Mr. Humann also agreed, under oath, that VNA was powerless to intervene as City of Flint officials chose to ignore all but one of their recommendations.

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April 29, 2022

Public health officials sound the alarm on Aaron Specht’s junk science bone lead test

On April 27-28, Aaron Specht, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Purdue University, took to the stand.

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April 28, 2022

Michael Glasgow testimony points to long pattern of negligence on behalf of Flint officials

On April 25-27, 2022, former Flint Water Treatment Operator Michael Glasgow took to the stand. His testimony pointed to a long pattern of malfeasance and negligence on behalf of City and State officials that both sparked and prolonged the Flint Water Crisis.

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April 21, 2022

Gerald Ambrose refused to consider a return to Detroit Water even after residents reported getting sick

On April 19-20, 2022, Former Flint Emergency Manager Gerald Ambrose’s deposition was played in court. Mr. Ambrose, who is now under indictment for his negligence, played a key role in approving the use of the Flint River as an interim water source for the City. He refused to consider a return to Detroit Water even after Flint residents reported getting sick from drinking and bathing in the contaminated river water.

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April 15, 2022

VNA VP Robert Nicholas’ deposition: the facts

On April 12th, 13th, and 14th, former VNA Vice President of Business Development Robert Nicholas’ deposition was played in the courtroom. Here are the facts:

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April 13, 2022

Ms. Kelly’s testimony confirms that government officials withheld critical information from the Flint community

On April 12th, Ms. Melinda Kelly testified in the courtroom. Ms. Kelly is the grandmother of plaintiff Emir Sherrod. Here’s what you need to know.

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April 12, 2022

VNA engineer Marvin Gnagy’s deposition: what you need to know

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April 6, 2022

Walling and Flint officials did not tell VNA of the high lead test results found in Flint

On March 31 and April 4-6, 2022, Former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling testified that, although he had been informed about dangerously high levels of lead in the tap water of Flint resident LeAnne Walters in early March 2015, he did not share this information with VNA. Even worse, when the EPA raised concerns about high lead levels in June 2015—several months after VNA had completed their work—Mayor Walling still did nothing to address the problem.

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March 25, 2022

Former VNA VP David Gadis’ deposition – The facts

On March 23rd and 24th, former VNA Vice President David Gadis’ deposition was played in the courtroom.

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March 17, 2022

VNA engineer Theping Chen’s deposition: What you need to know

On March 16, 2022, VNA engineer Theping Chen’s deposition was played in the courtroom. Here’s what you need to know.

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March 11, 2022

The facts on VNA’s recommendations to the city of Flint

All of VNA’s recommendations were ignored by the politicians and bureaucrats in charge of the City’s water supply

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March 10, 2022

Setting the record straight on Flint

VNA will not let distortions of the facts go unchecked

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