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Opening statements begin in Flint water trial challenging contactors’ liability

The Flint Water Plant tower is seen, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in Flint, Mich. Flint is under a...
The Flint Water Plant tower is seen, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in Flint, Mich. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. The city was under state management at the time.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 9:41 AM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Opening statements began Monday morning in the Flint water bellwether trial to determine if engineering contractors are responsible for lead-contaminated water.

The trial involves four children who are suing two engineering companies for alleged negligence involved in the Flint water crisis. The children are claiming injuries they say were caused from their exposure to lead in Flint’s drinking water in 2014 and 2015.

The companies are denying they were negligent, and say they are not responsible for the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries.

The companies are Veolia North America LLC, Veolia North America Inc. and Veolia Water North America Operating Services LLC, which are referred to as VNA, and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, P.C., Lockwood Andrews & Newnam Inc. and Leo A. Daly Company, which are referred to as LAN. VNA and LAN are not part of the $626.5 million partial settlement in the Flint water case.

The jury trial is expected to last four months and involve testimony from various witnesses. The U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan calls it a bellwether trial because it could predict how other plaintiffs might fair.

Trial will be in session most days from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Trial will not be in session on Friday unless determined by the court.