Flint families file class-action lawsuit

Getty Images

Seven families in Flint, Mich., filed a federal lawsuit seeking damages from the city and state over the lead-contaminated drinking water crisis.

The families are seeking class-action status from the court to cover any children poisoned by lead that leached into water due to the 2014 switch in Flint’s water source, NBC News reported Monday.

Flint resident Melissa Lightfoot told NBC her three children had no health problems before the water switch, and now all three have dangerously high lead levels in their blood.

“My kids are getting poisoned from something that's a necessity, and as a parent there's nothing I can do to help them. It's already in them, I can't take it out, and there's no medicine for it,” Lightfoot, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told NBC.

Flint, spurred by a state-appointed emergency manager, switched to using the Flint River in 2014 to save money. But the water was corrosive and, without proper treatment in place, began to fill with lead from the city's pipes.

The plaintiffs say the state and city violated the Safe Drinking Water Act.

"What we're trying to do here is get action and get action quick," Hunter Shkolnik, one of the attorneys on the case, told NBC. "There are many more children in the community who need attention. It cannot wait any longer."

State and federal officials have worked to provide bottled water, health resources and other help to Flint in recent months.

Michigan has also approved tens of millions of dollars for the city to repair and replace pipes, though none has made it there yet. The city has also returned to using Detroit’s water supply.