We are in the middle of a water crisis in the United States. In just the last few months the country has exploded with water evils from lead and legionnaires diseased water in Flint, Michigan (with a reported 87 Legionnaires’ cases and ten resulting deaths); water treatment concerns in Hannibal, Missouri; to brain eating amoeba in Louisiana, and to Legionnaires outbreaks across the country.
And these are just the extreme examples as they are being given attention by the media and public hearings. One can assume that under the “tip of the iceberg” metaphor, every state likely has some type of water contamination issue that is not being addressed.
At the recent Congressional Oversight Committee hearing on the Flint crisis, the witnesses that were presented had no personal knowledge of the facts, were not the decision makers, or knew what transpired prior to the crisis. In fact one Flint Manager ignored his subpoena to appear before the committee hearing.
Ask yourself – if the goal is to get to the truth about a subject, then demand that the individuals with the actual knowledge of the issue be sworn to testify. Otherwise it simply becomes a show with no true resolution – no responsibility, no culpability, and certainly no truth.
The only way that any true information is ever brought to light is through good lawyers who actually litigate the issue in a Court of Law. It is through subpoenas, depositions, and evidence submitted into the court record that the real truth is ever presented.
That seems to be what is taking place in Flint, Michigan with the still unbelievable circumstances of lead in American drinking water. Multiple suits have been filed over the decision-making by those in authority, and the damages suffered by the citizens. U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman, Jason Chaffetz, called the situation in Flint, Michigan “a failing at every level.”
Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has filed suit against the local Hospital and others over the lack of testing any notification to the general public. You can download a copy of the lawsuit (PDF) here. The suit arises out of the death of 58-year-old Debra Kidd from legionnaires disease. The parties named include the local hospital that treated the patients suffering from legionnaires disease, and members of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The hospital for failing to combat the outbreak, and the MDEQ for failing to properly monitor, treat, and prolong the condition of the water. While the case will wind its way through the courts, the one undisputed point about the ordeal is that the people in government that are elected and hired to protect our health and safety failed to notify the public about the health risks in their drinking water.
As has been described here previously, when there is an outbreak of a disease that could harm our neighbors and citizens, then immediate notification should be made to the public and those at risk. That practice is rarely followed by those in authority. The Flint crisis and our country’s safe water crisis is truly a Dynamic Tragedy, and as was foretold by one Congressman in a recent hearing, “Which City will be next?”