Thurswell Discusses Flint Water Crisis on Mildred Gaddis Talk Show

Published on February 2nd, 2016

Flint Water Crisis
Gerald Thurswell joins the Mildred Gaddis Talk Show on January 25, 2016 to discuss the Flint water crisis. The Flint water contamination crisis started in April 2014 in Flint, Michigan. Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River, its drinking water had a series of problems that culminated with lead contamination, creating a serious public health danger. The Flint River caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of lead. In Flint between 6,000-12,000 children have severely high levels of lead in the blood and experienced a range of serious health problems. The world is looking at Flint Michigan, with the question how is Michigan going to fix Flint. Below are a few of the questions and responses between Mildred Gaddis and Gerald Thurswell discussing the Flint Water Crisis.

Q: How should the babies who have been affected, be taken care of and made whole again?
A: I think what is going to have to happen is as you said babies are involved and they are probably the most vulnerable so what is going to happen is they are going to have to have periodic testing of the lead levels of these children. When these children reach a toxic level there will have to be neuropsychological evaluations to determine their IQ and how it is affecting their development. Until these children are 15 or 16 years old, they will need to have their lead levels measured and their intelligence measured to see if it is affected.

Q: You have a line of individuals employed by the state of Michigan who did not get it right. One person in particular ignored EPA guidelines in the situation. If you had a client that was a victim there, how would you negotiate a solution for them? It seems to me the first thing that would need to be done would be to get them out of there into a healthy environment.
A: I don’t think you can negotiate something like that, but it is really the best solution. Apparently they can connect to the city of Detroit water again if they go through these different processes. The city of Detroit water supply contains a chemical that can treat the water as it goes through the pipes in the city of Flint. The pipes in the city of Flint have lead in them. If you add this chemical, which Detroit always had added to their water, it would of prevented any lead poisoning that is occurring now. If they could do that immediately that would really assist in this situation. I saw that General Motors in Flint they were using the water in Flint and they saw that rust was coming out. General Motors who cares about cars and mechanical parts, not human lives, switched their water supply to the city of Detroit. If General Motors can do that to build their cars and parts, why can’t the Governor and the city of Flint transfer to the water of Detroit.
Q: Who is at fault in a court of law?
A: There have been three law suits filed in this case: one in Federal Court, one in the State of Michigan Court of Claims, and one in the Genesee County Circuit Court, all by the same law firm. They are alleging that there has been a violation of the state constitution and the U.S. constitution that they have taken life, liberty and happiness without due process of law. They named as defendants the Governor, the person who is in charge of the Department of Environmental Control, and the emergency managers. It is going to be very difficult to collect from any of these individuals because they are given immunity by law, they are not responsible for their acts. What has been alleged is that all of these parties, knew of the dangers and they did nothing, deliberately did nothing. If it can be proved that these parties knew of these dangers and deliberately did nothing, the court may say that this is a violation of due process.

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