First Wave of Lawsuits to Litigate Michigan's Dam Catastrophe

After a series of failures last week sent flood waters spilling into Midland County, Michigan, property owners in the area are filing class action lawsuits to recoup their losses.

May 27, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Tyler Dittenbir / Shutterstock

"A week after devastating flooding in mid-Michigan, four homeowners filed a new class-action lawsuit, this one against Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy claiming mismanagement of the Edenville dam," reports Frank Witsil.

The class action lawsuit follows news of two additional class action lawsuits, reported by Witsil and Miriam Marini: "Midland property owners are seeking compensation in class-action lawsuits filed in federal court in Detroit against Boyce Hydro, the owners and operators of the Edenville and Sanford dams."

The news of the lawsuits come less than a week after dam failures flooded properties in Michigan and sent residents scrambling for higher ground. 

Witsil sums up the stakes of the lawsuits: "All three lawsuits spotlight an issue in which controversy is certain to rise, long after the record floodwaters have receded: The potential danger and likelihood of a dam failure was known by the dam owner, government regulators and local residents. So who is to blame? And who should pay damages?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 in Detroit Free Press

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