Case: Long et al v. Pickell

2:16-cv-10842 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: March 8, 2016

Closed Date: June 23, 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 8th, 2016, two Genesee County Jail detainees filed this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other detainees in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs sued the Sheriff of Genesee County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the Civil Rights Clinic of Michigan State University, sought class certification, declaratory relief, injunctive relief requiring the Genesee County Jail to provide safe and clean water to all detainees,…

On March 8th, 2016, two Genesee County Jail detainees filed this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other detainees in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs sued the Sheriff of Genesee County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the Civil Rights Clinic of Michigan State University, sought class certification, declaratory relief, injunctive relief requiring the Genesee County Jail to provide safe and clean water to all detainees, and attorneys’ fees and costs. The plaintiffs claimed that the Genesee County Jail provided detainees with toxic water for consumption, bathing, and food preparation in violation of the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendant did not provide safe and clean water to detainees, impacting their health. The plaintiffs alleged that the Sheriff had overwhelming evidence that the water was unsafe to drink and caused lead poisoning after Genesee County officials declared a public health emergency on October, 1, 2015. The health concerns relating to the toxic water of Flint included hypertension, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, and psychological disorders. After providing only a nine day supply of bottled water to detainees, the Jail required that detainees return to drinking, bathing, and cooking with the toxic tap water. The plaintiffs alleged that the Sheriff made the decision to return to using toxic tap water for fiscal reasons. The plaintiffs estimated that 500 individuals were detained at any one time in Jail, and thus subjected to toxic water. This is one of many cases that arose from the Flint Water Crisis. Many cases relating to this crisis were condensed into one class action lawsuit, Waid v. Snyder. This case proceeded independently. For another suit involving the Genesee County Jail but seeking damages, please see Hatcher v. Genesee County.

On April 6, 2016, the complaint was amended to include an additional plaintiff (another detainee) and an additional defendant (the Captain in charge of the internal workings of the Jail).

On June 23, 2016, the lawsuit was resolved via a consent decree approved by District Judge Avern Cohn. In the decree, the defendants maintained that detainees had not consumed toxic water. The decree required defendants to provide detainees with water that is not contaminated by lead for drinking and cooking, meaning the water contains less than fifteen parts per billion of lead contaminants. Additionally, the decree required defendants to test the water in five locations within the Jail every fourteen days for an eight week period, sending copies to the plaintiffs’ counsel. If the tests showed that the lead levels were safe, the defendants were allowed to supply water from the Flint water system to detainees for all uses. The consent decree was set to last for one year and enforceable by the court. (The decree would also terminate if Michigan or the Genesee County Health Department declared Flint’s water safe). There was no additional docket activity during the term of the consent decree, and the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Olivia Vigiletti (10/23/2019)

Related Cases

Hatcher v. Genesee County, Eastern District of Michigan (2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4292886/parties/long-v-pickell/


Judge(s)

Cohn, Avern Levin (Michigan)

Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)

Majzoub, Mona K. (Michigan)

O'Meara, John Corbett (Michigan)

Stranch, Jane Branstetter (Tennessee)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Burke, Susan L (Maryland)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Meeder, Jessica Hamman (Maryland)

Murphy, William H. Jr. (Maryland)

Shea, David J. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Cohn, Avern Levin (Michigan)

Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)

Majzoub, Mona K. (Michigan)

O'Meara, John Corbett (Michigan)

Stranch, Jane Branstetter (Tennessee)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Burke, Susan L (Maryland)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Meeder, Jessica Hamman (Maryland)

Murphy, William H. Jr. (Maryland)

Shea, David J. (Michigan)

Szokoly, Nicholas Adam (Maryland)

Washington, Valdemar L. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bell, Celeste D. (Michigan)

Berg, Frederick A. (Michigan)

Bettenhausen, Margaret A. (Michigan)

Chubb, Anthony K (Michigan)

Gambill, Nathan A. (Michigan)

Kim, William Young (Michigan)

Klein, Sheldon H. (Michigan)

Kuhl, Richard S. (Michigan)

Miller, Megen Elise (Michigan)

Richotte, Joseph E. (Michigan)

Roth, David B. (Michigan)

Other Attorney(s)

Leopold, Theodore J. (Florida)

McAlpine, Mark L. (Michigan)

Pitt, Michael L. (Michigan)

Weiner, Jessica B. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:16-cv-10842

Docket [PACER]

Long v. Pickell

June 23, 2016

June 23, 2016

Docket
1

2:16-cv-10842

Complaint

Long v. Pickell

March 8, 2016

March 8, 2016

Complaint
4

2:16-cv-10842

Complaint for Class Certification and for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Long v. Pickell

April 6, 2016

April 6, 2016

Complaint
10

2:16-cv-10842

Consent Decree

Long v. Pickell

June 23, 2016

June 23, 2016

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4292886/long-v-pickell/

Last updated Aug. 5, 2022, 3:15 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by All Plaintiffs against Robert J. Pickell. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: 0645-5589051 - Fee: $ 400. County of 1st Plaintiff: Genesee - County Where Action Arose: Genesee - County of 1st Defendant: Genesee. [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): None] (Manville, Daniel) (Entered: 03/08/2016)

March 8, 2016

March 8, 2016

RECAP
2

SUMMONS Issued for *Robert J. Pickell* (DWor) (Entered: 03/09/2016)

March 9, 2016

March 9, 2016

PACER
3

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Robert J. Pickell served on 3/11/2016, answer due 4/1/2016. (Manville, Daniel) (Entered: 03/11/2016)

March 11, 2016

March 11, 2016

PACER
4

AMENDED 1 Complaint,, by Naomi Anthony (Manville, Daniel)[DOCKET ERROR - WRONG EVENT USED] Modified on 4/6/2016 (Ahmed, N). (Entered: 04/06/2016)

April 6, 2016

April 6, 2016

PACER
5

MOTION re 3 Certificate of Service/Summons Returned Executed, 1 Complaint,, Entry of Default by All Plaintiffs. (Manville, Daniel) (Entered: 05/17/2016)

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

PACER
6

MOTION to Withdraw 5 MOTION re 3 Certificate of Service/Summons Returned Executed, 1 Complaint,, Entry of Default by All Plaintiffs. (Manville, Daniel) (Entered: 05/19/2016)

May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016

PACER
7

ORDER Withdrawing Default re 5 MOTION for Entry of Default. Signed by District Judge Avern Cohn. (JOwe) (Entered: 05/24/2016)

May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Celeste D. Bell on behalf of All Defendants. (Bell, Celeste) (Entered: 06/01/2016)

June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016

PACER
9

MOTION for Order for Entry of Consent Decree by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proposed Consent Decree) (Manville, Daniel) (Entered: 06/18/2016)

1 Exhibit Proposed Consent Decree

View on PACER

June 18, 2016

June 18, 2016

PACER
10

CONSENT DECREE Signed by District Judge Avern Cohn. (MVer) (Entered: 06/23/2016)

June 23, 2016

June 23, 2016

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees

Flint Water Cases

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 8, 2016

Closing Date: June 23, 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Genessee County Jail detainees.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

Sheriff of Genesee County (Flint, Genesee), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 0

Order Duration: 2016 - 2017

Content of Injunction:

Monitoring

Reporting

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Conditions of confinement

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Government Services

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Totality of conditions

Type of Facility:

Government-run