Flint Residents Prepare to Battle Big Banks For $2 Billion Lawsuit

CBx Vibe:Fight The Power” Public Enemy

By Justice Allen

  • Over 2,000 Flint residents are plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit water crisis against 3 major banks seeking $2B in damages
  • JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Stifel, Nicolaus, & Company funded the $220M KWA pipeline

While engineering companies and government officials have previously come under fire for their roles in the Flint water crisis, residents in the community are now setting their sights on the three investment banks that sparked the epidemic. They are pursuing a civil lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Stifel, Nicolaus, & Co. for underwriting a bond that allowed the city of Flint to pay for the KWA pipeline that spurred the water crisis. Despite the massive health implications of funding the $220 million municipal bond for Flint, the banks moved forward with the plan, prioritizing long term financial gain over the well-being of the area’s residents.

Why This Matters: The issue with the pipeline itself was its dependence on the untreated water from the local Flint river, a tradeoff that would no doubt have adverse effects on Flint residents. Make no mistake, the three banks in question were well aware. This is why there are more than 2,000 Flint residents as plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against these financial institutions, seeking $2 billion in damages.

The city of Flint is more than 50% Black with about 40% of the population living below the poverty line

The crisis is a glaring example of how capitalism and environmental racism can coexist at the detriment of Black communities. The city of Flint is more than 50% Black with about 40% of the population living below the poverty line. These are facts that many consider to be leading reasons as to why a solution wasn’t found sooner. If you couple that with the potential for these banks to make a return on their investment, it’s easy to understand how this resulted in an ongoing national tragedy.

What’s Next: The banks have declined to comment on the pending lawsuit (shocker), but they’ll have to speak sooner or later with this civil suit on the horizon. We’ll keep an eye on the case as it unfolds, with hopes that the Flint residents are relentless in their fight against the systemic, inhumane treatment of their community.

CBx Vibe:Fight The Power” Public Enemy

CONTRIBUTOR

Justice Allen

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