On Thursday, a judge in Michigan declared a mistrial in a case involving the Flint water crisis.
After receiving a note from the eight-person jury, Magistrate Judge David Grand of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan made the call, citing concerns for the mental health and well-being of one juror who had reportedly had multiple emotional outbursts during the proceedings.
Detroit News reports that after the trial ended in a hung jury, Grand praised “the most dedicated group of jurors to ever serve in the Eastern District.”
According to the note, continuing to deliberate will cause “stress and anxiety,” as well as a failure to reach a unanimous verdict “without someone having to surrender their honest convictions solely for the purpose of returning a verdict.”
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The lawsuit, the first crisis-related case to go to trial, concerns water contamination in Flint between 2014 and 2015. Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, two private engineering firms, are being sued for their alleged involvement in the incident on various grounds, including negligence.
To justify the mistrial, the defense argued that the jury’s predicament was the “epitome of a mistrial,” and that continuing deliberations would be “stressful.”
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Abdominal pain, headaches, memory loss, and weakness are all symptoms of lead poisoning, and the CDC reports that prolonged exposure to the metal can cause permanent damage to the kidneys and the brain.
The BBC estimates that 12 people lost their lives due to the water crisis in 2014.
The Examiner of Washington Video Categories: Courts & Justice, Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan, and More
Asher Notheis is the original author.
Start Point: Case involving Flint, Michigan water quality and engineering firms is deemed a mistrial.
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