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Case Name Hatcher v. Genesee County PB-MI-0018
Docket / Court 5:18-cv-11986 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On June 25, 2018, detainees in the Genesee County Jail in the City of Flint who bathed in and consumed lead-contaminated water filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sued Genesee County under 42 U.S.C. § 19 ... read more >
On June 25, 2018, detainees in the Genesee County Jail in the City of Flint who bathed in and consumed lead-contaminated water filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sued Genesee County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and sought compensatory and punitive damages along with attorney’s fees. The plaintiffs claimed that the failure to provide safe drinking water and the delay in providing safe drinking water constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendants knew the Jail’s water was contaminated, yet forced the plaintiffs to continue drinking it. They claimed that the defendants prohibited the plaintiffs from accepting deliveries of bottled water, failed to ensure that adequate bottled water was given to the plaintiffs, withheld bottles of water from the plaintiffs forcing them to continue drinking contaminated water, restricted plaintiffs to less than the minimum required amount of water per day, and withheld water as punishment. For more information about a similar suit involving the Genesee County Jail that sought injunctive relief, please see Long v. Pickell.

On October 18, 2018, the defendants responded to the complaint. They contended that a) the plaintiffs could not have been exposed to lead because the water service lines to Genesee County Jail are not made of lead, b) as soon as they became aware of the possibility that the water in the Genesee County Jail could have been contaminated with lead they tested the water sources, and c) they provided adequate bottled water as soon as they became aware of the publicity surrounding the water supply while they waited for the water to be tested.

On December 19, 2018, the parties filed a discovery plan, and as of October 22, 2019 discovery is ongoing.

Elisabeth Ng - 10/10/2019
Nora Baty - 11/05/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Government Services (specify)
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Genesee County
Plaintiff Description Detainees in the Genesee County Jail in the City of Flint who bathed in and consumed lead contaminated water
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-MI-0017 : Long et al v. Pickell (E.D. Mich.)
Docket(s)
5:18-cv-11986 (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0018-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-MI-0018-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Benedetto, Conrad J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PB-MI-0018-0006 | PB-MI-0018-9001
Bern, Marc J. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-MI-0018-0006
Monroe, Stephen Frederick (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-MI-0018-9001
Radner, Solomon M. (Michigan) show/hide docs
PB-MI-0018-0006 | PB-MI-0018-9001
Sharp, Ryan Steven (New York) show/hide docs
PB-MI-0018-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Edmunds, Michael W. (Michigan) show/hide docs
PB-MI-0018-9001

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