Flint Water Crisis

Guvmint Is Not Done Screwing Over Flint Water Victims Yet

Victims can't sue government, that's the other crime

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Flint Water Pollution
Akula Lopotev via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

The Flint water mess is wholly and solely a government creation, as I have noted before. But innocent taxpayers— federal and state—are on the hook to pay for the cleanup. President Obama has announced an $85 million "relief" package for Flint victims and is also considering handing everyone under 21 years free Medicaid (arguably a fate worse than drinking poisoned water itself!). Snyder himself has arranged for $28 million in state aid.

All of this sounds like a lot of money, but it is actually a pittance compared not just to what Flint residents are in for but also what General Motors and Toyota have paid their crash victims, I point out in my morning column at The Week.

The main reason why Flint residents won't get more is that, unlike private companies, they can't sue the government, thanks to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which protects government from tort lawsuits. In fact, prestigious law firms that are representing victims of the recent California gas leak in a class action lawsuit against Southern California Gas Co., owned by the non-governmental Sempra Energy, are so far declining to help Flint victims because the odds that they will succeed against the government are low to zero.

"Scrapping or at least circumscribing sovereign immunity may be worth considering although that isn't a great answer because it will only expose taxpayers to liability for snafus they have not committed," I note.

The real answer, however, is privatization, getting the government out of the business of running utilities completely. But that will of course give lefto-liberals like Castro lover Michael Moore a coronary—which would be reason alone to go for it.

Go here to read the whole piece.