Former Flint jail inmates sue over lead-tainted water


FLINT — Former inmates at a Flint jail said their rights were violated when they were exposed to lead-tainted water.

The lawsuit alleges that Genesee County officials withheld clean water, rationed bottled water and sometimes forced inmates to buy water. They also accused jail officials of rejecting deliveries of water by relatives.

Attorney Solomon Radner called it “unconstitutional torture.” The lawsuit was filed Monday in Detroit federal court. Sheriff Robert Pickell said he won't comment until he reads it.

The county jail, like the rest of Flint, was using water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015. The city wasn't treating water to reduce corrosion, and lead leached from old pipes as a result.

In 2016, the sheriff settled a separate lawsuit by agreeing to regularly test jail water.

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