Counsel for Some Plaintiffs Argue Against Extending Bone Scan Deadline in Flint Water Lawsuit

On Tuesday, co-liaison counsel for plaintiffs in the Flint, Michigan water crisis lawsuit argued against extending the deadline for plaintiffs to receive a bone scan. The lawyers argued that the moving counsel are failing in their duty to represent their clients, and have not met the burden to show that there is good cause for extending the deadline. 

“Moving Counsel have had the knowledge and the means to confirm their clients’ injuries, but their law offices failed to provide clients that service in a timely fashion,” the filing argued. The counsel said that there was not a reasonable argument for the movants to not obtain bone scans of the plaintiffs during the last five years. 

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include hundreds of Flint residents who claimed that the city allowed lead to enter its water supply by using old pipes. A group of plaintiffs and a pediatrician opposed the bone lead testing requirements in the settlement earlier this year.  Several plaintiffs asked the court to extend the opt-out deadline for the settlement in late March, some citing concerns with the bone scan, however, after a hearing Judge Judith E. Levy denied that request

In these previous filings, the plaintiffs and their counsel claimed that the bone lead test is not designed for use in humans and is not sufficiently tested. The pediatrician, Dr. Lawrence A. Reynolds, who is currently the Health Advisor to Flint, Michigan’s mayor, said that the XRF hand-held bone testing device being used is not approved for use on humans, but rather on samples

The response filed on Tuesday, however, claimed that XRF bone lead testing is safe and cited other doctors saying that the scans are being performed “safely and transparently.” Additionally, the filing claimed that extending the deadline for bone scans would “result in unfair prejudice” to individuals who did obtain proof of their injury. It claimed that the deadline for the bone scans, April 27, was known to the plaintiffs and their counsel and that there is no new evidence to justify altering the deadline. 

The filing was submitted by Napoli Shkolnik and Levy Konigsber LLP, co-liaison counsel for individual plaintiffs.