Hunter Quoted by NBCNews on 2-Year-Old Flint Lead Poisoning
February 9, 2016 | Environmental Litigation
“This family has gone through hell,” said attorney Hunter Shkolnik. “They literally abandoned their house. This young family almost lost their child over this. This is as tragic an event as I have ever seen.”
When Sophia Rodriguez Waid was a 1-year old, doctors detected lead in her blood. Her family did everything they could to fix the situation but the toxin level in her blood continued to rise. It wasn’t until the family moved in with a relative who wasn’t on Flint’s water supply that Sophia’s blood began returning to normal. Partner Hunter Shkolnik along with co-counsel is representing the family and names the city of Flint and the state of Michigan and government officials as defendants in their suit.
The suit, which does not specify damages, names the city of Flint and the state of Michigan and government officials as defendants. Another lawyer for the family, Adam Slater, said they are arguing the water system was not strictly a governmental function so the city and state can’t use governmental immunity as a shield.
At 6 months old, she was tested for lead and the results were normal.
But at her 1-year followup, the levels were high and doctors told Waid, a welder, how to find and get rid of lead in their home, he said.
He said he didn’t suspect the water because he’d had it tested when he bought the house and it was fine.
But that test was done when Flint was buying water from Detroit. Just three months before Sophia’s alarming blood test, the city had started using water from the Flint River to save money.
Switching to the Flint River Water Source
The new water was more corrosive, and under the city streets, it began eating away at 25,000 lead service lines, eventually leaching the heavy metal into the drinking water.
Hunter Shkolnik explains that sadly everyone in the community has been affected by the contaminated water, associated with the switchover to the Flint River that had occurred. He added that those findings are not shocking as every child under the age of 7 in Flint, MI has sustained lead poisoning.
Many have pointed out that surrounding, affluent neighborhoods to Flint did not experience the same water issues and Mr. Shkolnik points out that is not surprising that this crisis occurred in a poverty stricken, downtrodden community. There were outsourced engineers who guided the water district workers in the transfer, who should have recommended proper water treatment. That process was thought out and the Flint residents suffered while others did not.
There has already been legal wrangling at the state and federal level but that there are resources available to compensate the Flint community.
Read Tracy Connor’s full article here.
If you are a resident or property owner in Flint, you may be able to recover damages for your exposure to contaminated drinking water. Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is ready to help those residents who pursue personal injury and property claims related to the Flint water contamination. Give the Environmental Attorneys of Napoli Shkolnik a call today at (212) 397-1000 to discuss your legal options.
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