K.U.'s David Slusky gave an interesting talk on The Impact of the Flint Water Crisis on Fertility. A 4.9% decrease in birth weight is hard to ignore.
What made me really sad was the undeserved optimism expressed by some in the audience about the potential for a litigation strategy for the fix. Yes, there has been criminal side activity. But, on the civil side, people should know that while the Safe Drinking Water Act does allow for private citizen suits, it does not allow for private plaintiff damages. Any funds recovered are payable to the government alone. That may be part of why the case has been filed under federal civil rights law, which allows both private plaintiff damages and has a fee shifting provision. This theory of the case has had its own challenges, of course, with the Supreme Court only recently reviving two consolidated putative class actions against government authorities from the rocky shoals of dismissal on the grounds of preemption.