Case: Brown v. Snyder

5:18-cv-10699 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Nov. 2, 2017

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 2, 2017, five residents of Flint, MI filed this lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims. The plaintiffs sued the State of Michigan and state employees for personal injuries and property damage arising out of the Flint Water Crisis under Michigan state law. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, injunctive relief requiring the remediation of harm caused to plaintiffs, monitoring, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs.…

On November 2, 2017, five residents of Flint, MI filed this lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims. The plaintiffs sued the State of Michigan and state employees for personal injuries and property damage arising out of the Flint Water Crisis under Michigan state law. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, injunctive relief requiring the remediation of harm caused to plaintiffs, monitoring, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

This is one of many cases arising out of the Flint Water Crisis. The plaintiffs claimed that city and state officials chose to use the Flint River as a primary source of water for residents in Flint, despite knowing that the water was unsafe for consumption. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Flint officials began using water from the Flint River in 2013, despite multiple environmental studies conducted in 2011 and 2012 warning against it.

Although initially filed in a Michigan state court, the defendants removed the case to federal court on February 28, 2018. The defendants supplied two bases for federal jurisdiction: first, that they qualified as federal officers because the Environmental Protection Agency controlled their operations; and second, that they acted under federal statutes and rules including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Surface Water Treatment Rule, and the Lead and Copper Rule. The case was originally assigned to Judge John Corbett O’Meara and quickly reassigned to Judge Judith E. Levy, who handled most of the cases related to the Flint water crisis. The plaintiffs moved to remand the case.

The court remanded the case a series of related orders. First, on March 29, 2018, Judge Levy determined that the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Mays v. City of Flint foreclosed the defendants’ argument that they were eligible for federal officer removal. In the same order, Judge Levy expressed concern at exercising jurisdiction over a state-law claim based only on “general[] references” to federal law and directed the defendants to show cause why the case should not be remanded. Then, on April 3, 2018, the court granted a stipulated order remanding the cases against defendants who served as emergency managers in Flint. Finally, on April 17, 2018, Judge Levy remanded the remaining claims. Judge Levy wrote that under Nappier v. Snyder, removal based on a substantial federal question required the unanimous consent of all defendants, which did not exist in this case as to the defendants who stipulated to remand.

The defendants appealed on May 10, 2018. They soon recognized that binding Sixth Circuit precedent foreclosed their appeal absent action by the Supreme Court on Nappier or further developments in Waid v. Snyder, a consolidated case involving federal class actions arising from the Flint Water crisis. The parties stipulated to a voluntary dismissal on July 6, 2018.

The case then resumed in state court. The court (Judge Christopher Murray) denied the defendants’ motion for summary disposition on July 27, 2018. The defendants appealed, arguing that they enjoyed governmental immunity. The case and appeals are ongoing.

Summary Authors

Olivia Vigiletti (11/12/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6576457/parties/brown-v-snyder/


Judge(s)

Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)

Murray, Christopher M. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Oliver, Alyson L. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barbieri, Charles E. (Michigan)

Bolton, Jordan S. (Michigan)

Burdick, James W. (Michigan)

Cafferty, Michael S. (Michigan)

Clare, Christopher B. (District of Columbia)

Dwyer, Lisa L. (Michigan)

Gambill, Nathan A. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)

Murray, Christopher M. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Oliver, Alyson L. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barbieri, Charles E. (Michigan)

Bolton, Jordan S. (Michigan)

Burdick, James W. (Michigan)

Cafferty, Michael S. (Michigan)

Clare, Christopher B. (District of Columbia)

Dwyer, Lisa L. (Michigan)

Gambill, Nathan A. (Michigan)

Grashoff, Philip A. Jr. (Michigan)

Jackson, Krista A. (Michigan)

MARY CHARTIER-MITTENDORF, Mary (Michigan)

Meihn, Gregory M. (Michigan)

Morgan, Thaddeus E. (Michigan)

Parker, Patric A (Michigan)

Pattwell, Michael J. (Michigan)

Perkins, Todd Russell (Michigan)

Wise, Matthew (Michigan)

Wolf, Barry A. (Michigan)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Burns, Shawna (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

5:18-cv-10699

Docket [PACER]

May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018

Docket

17-000291-MZ

Docket [Michigan Court of Claims]

Michigan state trial court

July 22, 2019

July 22, 2019

Docket
1-2

5:18-cv-10699

17-000291-MZ

Summons and Complaint

Michigan state trial court

Feb. 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

Complaint
1

5:18-cv-10699

Joint Notice of Removal

Feb. 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

Pleading / Motion / Brief
9

5:18-cv-10699

Order to Show Cause Why This Case Should Not be Remanded for Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

March 29, 2018

March 29, 2018

Order/Opinion
14

5:18-cv-10699

Order Granting Stipulation to Remand all Claims Against Emergency Manager Defendants to the Michigan Court of Claims

April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018

Order/Opinion
29

5:18-cv-10699

MDEQ Defendants Response to Show Cause Order

April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018

Pleading / Motion / Brief
31

5:18-cv-10699

Order Vacating Order to Show Cause and Remanding Case to the Michigan Court of Claims

April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

Order/Opinion
36

5:18-cv-10699

Joint Notice of Appeal

May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6576457/brown-v-snyder/

Last updated May 28, 2022, 3:19 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

NOTICE OF REMOVAL by Liane Shekter Smith, Stephen Busch, Bradley Wurfel, Adam Rosenthal, Patrick Cook, Michael Prysby, Daniel Wyant from Michigan Court of Claims, case number 17-291-MZ. Receipt No: 0645-6621705 - Fee: $ 400 [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 5:17-cv-10164, Judge Judith E. Levy] (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A-Complaint, # 3 Exhibit B-Court of Claims Pleadings, # 4 Exhibit C-SDWA Resources and FAQs, # 5 Exhibit D-Primacy Agreements, # 6 Exhibit E-USEPA Annual Summaries, # 7 Exhibit F-MDEQ FOIA Request between MDEQ and USEPA, # 8 Exhibit G-USEPA FOIA between USEPA and MDEQ, # 9 Exhibit H-MDEQ Funding Documents, # 10 Exhibit I-USEPA 11-3-15 Memorandum, # 11 Exhibit J-USEPA Emergency Administrative Order, # 12 Exhibit K-Flint Techanical Advisory Task Force Emails, # 13 Exhibit L-USEPA Amended Emergency Administrative Order, # 14 Exhibit M-Weekly Reports and MDEQ-USEPA Correspondence, # 15 Exhibit N-USEPA 6-3-16 letter to MDEQ) (Barbieri, Charles) (Entered: 02/28/2018)

1 Index of Exhibits

View on PACER

2 Exhibit A-Complaint

View on PACER

3 Exhibit B-Court of Claims Pleadings

View on PACER

4 Exhibit C-SDWA Resources and FAQs

View on PACER

5 Exhibit D-Primacy Agreements

View on PACER

6 Exhibit E-USEPA Annual Summaries

View on PACER

7 Exhibit F-MDEQ FOIA Request between MDEQ and USEPA

View on PACER

8 Exhibit G-USEPA FOIA between USEPA and MDEQ

View on PACER

9 Exhibit H-MDEQ Funding Documents

View on PACER

10 Exhibit I-USEPA 11-3-15 Memorandum

View on PACER

11 Exhibit J-USEPA Emergency Administrative Order

View on PACER

12 Exhibit K-Flint Techanical Advisory Task Force Emails

View on PACER

13 Exhibit L-USEPA Amended Emergency Administrative Order

View on PACER

14 Exhibit M-Weekly Reports and MDEQ-USEPA Correspondence

View on PACER

15 Exhibit N-USEPA 6-3-16 letter to MDEQ

View on PACER

Feb. 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

PACER

NOTICE of Error directed to: Charles E. Barbieri re 1 Notice of Removal. Parties listed on the initiating document were omitted. The filing attorney must use the docket event Addition of Parties to correct the error. [No Image Associated with this docket entry] (DWor)

Feb. 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

PACER

A United States Magistrate Judge of this Court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 636c and FRCP 73. The Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a Magistrate Judge form is available for download at http://www.mied.uscourts.gov (DWor)

Feb. 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

PACER

Addition of Parties to CM/ECF: Defendants Stephen Busch, Patrick Cook, Michael Prysby, Adam Rosenthal, Liane Shekter Smith, Bradley Wurfel, Daniel Wyant, Plaintiff VW. Reason: The party was not added to CM/ECF (Barbieri, Charles)

Feb. 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

PACER
2

NOTICE of Appearance by Philip A. Grashoff, Jr on behalf of Stephen Busch. (Grashoff, Philip) (Entered: 03/01/2018)

March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

PACER
3

NOTICE of Appearance by Krista A. Jackson on behalf of Stephen Busch. (Jackson, Krista) (Entered: 03/01/2018)

March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

PACER
4

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Michael S. Cafferty appearing on behalf of Nancy Peeler (Cafferty, Michael) (Entered: 03/05/2018)

March 5, 2018

March 5, 2018

PACER
5

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE from District Judge John Corbett O'Meara and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford to District Judge Judith E. Levy and Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (SSch) (Entered: 03/16/2018)

March 16, 2018

March 16, 2018

PACER
6

NOTICE TO APPEAR: In-Person Status Conference set for 4/16/2018 at 2:00 PM before District Judge Judith E. Levy - in Courtroom 1. (SBur) (Entered: 03/16/2018)

March 16, 2018

March 16, 2018

PACER
7

STIPULATION to Remand Claims Against State Defendants by Andy Dillon, Nick Lyon, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan, State of, Rick Snyder, Eden Wells (Gambill, Nathan) (Entered: 03/21/2018)

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Nathan A. Gambill on behalf of Andy Dillon, Nick Lyon, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan, State of, Rick Snyder, Eden Wells. (Gambill, Nathan) (Entered: 03/21/2018)

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

PACER
9

ORDER PARTIALLY REMANDING CASE to Michigan Court of Claims and ORDER to Show Cause why the Court should not remand this case to the Michigan Court of Claims for lack of a substantial federal question..( Show Cause Response due by 4/13/2018) Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (NAhm) (Entered: 03/30/2018)

March 29, 2018

March 29, 2018

PACER
10

NOTICE remanding case to MICHIGAN COURT OF CLAIMS. (NAhm) (Entered: 03/30/2018)

March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018

PACER
11

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Barry A. Wolf appearing on behalf of Gerald Ambrose (Wolf, Barry) (Entered: 04/03/2018)

April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018

PACER
12

STIPULATION to Remand All Claims Against Emergency Manager Defendants by Gerald Ambrose (Wolf, Barry) (Entered: 04/03/2018)

April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018

PACER
13

NOTICE of Appearance by James W. Burdick on behalf of Adam Rosenthal. (Burdick, James) (Entered: 04/03/2018)

April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018

PACER
14

ORDER GRANTING STIPULATION TO REMAND ALL CLAIMS AGAINST EMERGENCY MANAGER DEFENDANTS TO THE MICHIGAN COURT OF CLAIMS. Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (NAhm) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018

PACER
15

NOTICE remanding case to MICHIGAN COURT OF CLAIMS. (NAhm) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
16

[STRICKEN] ATTORNEY SUBSTITUTION for Adam Rosenthal: Lisa L. Dwyer added. (Dwyer, Lisa) Modified on 4/6/2018 (SBur). (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
17

NOTICE of Appearance by Lisa L. Dwyer on behalf of Adam Rosenthal. (Dwyer, Lisa) (Entered: 04/06/2018)

April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018

PACER

TEXT-ONLY ORDER Striking 15 Attorney Substitution as Improvidently Filed. Entered by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (SBur)

April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018

PACER
18

NOTICE of Appearance by Christopher B. Clare on behalf of Bradley Wurfel, Daniel Wyant. (Clare, Christopher) (Entered: 04/09/2018)

April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

PACER
19

NOTICE of Appearance by Michael J. Pattwell on behalf of Bradley Wurfel, Daniel Wyant. (Pattwell, Michael) (Entered: 04/09/2018)

April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

PACER
20

ACKNOWLEDGMENT from Michigan Court of Claims of receipt of 10 Notice of partial remand. (DPer) (Entered: 04/10/2018)

April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

PACER
21

NOTICE of Appearance by Jordan S. Bolton on behalf of Bradley Wurfel, Daniel Wyant. (Bolton, Jordan) (Entered: 04/10/2018)

April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018

PACER
22

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Matthew Wise appearing on behalf of Jeff Wright ONLY (Wise, Matthew) (Entered: 04/10/2018)

April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018

PACER
23

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Gregory M. Meihn appearing on behalf of Jeff Wright ONLY (Meihn, Gregory) (Entered: 04/10/2018)

April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018

PACER
24

DECLARATION by Alyson Oliver filed by All Plaintiffs (Oliver, Alyson) Modified on 4/11/2018 (SKra).[WRONG CASE NUMBER ON DOCUMENT] (Entered: 04/11/2018)

April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

PACER
25

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Edward Kurtz served on 3/14/2018, answer due 4/4/2018. (Oliver, Alyson) (Entered: 04/11/2018)

April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

PACER
26

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Gerald Ambrose served on 3/15/2018, answer due 4/5/2018. (Oliver, Alyson) (Entered: 04/11/2018)

April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

PACER
27

STIPULATION Allowing Withdrawal of Counsel by Adam Rosenthal (Barbieri, Charles) (Entered: 04/12/2018)

April 12, 2018

April 12, 2018

PACER
28

ACKNOWLEDGMENT from Michigan Court of Claims of receipt of 15 Notice of partial remand. (DPer) (Entered: 04/12/2018)

April 12, 2018

April 12, 2018

PACER

TEXT-ONLY ORDER Granting 27 Stipulation. Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (SBur)

April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018

PACER
29

MEMORANDUM re 9 Order Partially Remanding Case, Order to Show Cause,, Response to Show Cause Order by Stephen Busch, Patrick Cook, Michael Prysby, Adam Rosenthal, Liane Shekter Smith, Bradley Wurfel, Daniel Wyant (Barbieri, Charles) (Entered: 04/13/2018)

April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings before District Judge Judith E. Levy: Status Conference held on 4/16/2018. (Court Reporter: Jeseca Eddington) (SBur)

April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018

PACER
30

NOTICE TO APPEAR: In-Person Status Conference set for 6/18/2018 at 2:00 PM before District Judge Judith E. Levy - in Courtroom 1. (SBur) (Entered: 04/17/2018)

April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

PACER
31

ORDER VACATING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND REMANDING CASE to Michigan Court of Claims. Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (NAhm) (Entered: 04/17/2018)

April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

PACER
32

NOTICE remanding case to MICHIGAN COURT OF CLAIMS. (NAhm) (Entered: 04/17/2018)

April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

PACER
33

NOTICE of Appearance by Thaddeus E. Morgan on behalf of Liane Shekter Smith. (Morgan, Thaddeus) (Entered: 04/18/2018)

April 18, 2018

April 18, 2018

PACER
34

ACKNOWLEDGMENT from Michigan Court of Claims of receipt of 32 Notice of remand. (DPer) (Entered: 04/24/2018)

April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

PACER
35

[STRICKEN] STIPULATION Allowing Nathan Gambill to Withdraw Appearance by Andy Dillon, Nick Lyon, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan, State of, Rick Snyder, Eden Wells (Gambill, Nathan) Modified on 4/27/2018 (SBur). (Entered: 04/27/2018)

April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018

PACER

TEXT-ONLY ORDER Striking 35 Stipulation as Improvidently Filed. Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (SBur)

April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018

PACER
36

NOTICE OF APPEAL by Liane Shekter Smith, Stephen Busch, Bradley Wurfel, Patrick Cook, Michael Prysby, Daniel Wyant. Receipt No: 0645-6726381 - Fee: $ 505 - Fee Status: Fee Paid. (Barbieri, Charles) (Entered: 05/10/2018)

May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

PACER
37

Certificate of Service re 36 Notice of Appeal. (LGra) (Entered: 05/11/2018)

May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018

PACER
38

Order

March 9, 2022

March 9, 2022

PACER
39

Order

March 25, 2022

March 25, 2022

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Flint Water Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 2, 2017

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Five residents of Flint affected by contaminated water.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Governor of Michigan, State

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, State

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Sanitation/Public Works

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - governmental

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