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On Monday, seven families who have been poisoned by lead as a result of the Flint Water Crisis filed a class action lawsuit that could include up to 8,000 young people. The group cites federal environmental laws and is seeking a class action status for what they call wide-reaching negligence.

The lawsuit takes aim at city and state officials responsible for the city’s water crisis, claiming they were dishonest about the condition of the water residents consumed and used for bathing.

Attorney Hunter Shkolnik spoke with NewsOne Now guest host Dr. Wilmer Leon about the looming class action status lawsuit filed under the Safe Water and Lead-Free Water Acts.

Shkolnik reminded viewers of the devastating impact lead poisoning can have, saying, “Once lead is in these children, it’s in them for life.” He added, “Something has to be done in Flint and something has to be done soon.”

The lawsuit has been filed as a civil lawsuit and is “not seeking to put anyone in jail,” said Shkolnik. Instead, “we’re seeking compensation for the children, for the families, and we’re also seeking money to replace the pipes in the homes.”

“Until the pipes are fixed and changed, they’re going to be exposed to lead,” Shkolnik said.

When asked how he plans to determine the fair level of monetary compensation, Shkolnik explained, “Unfortunately, these types of disasters are not new.”

He continued, “Our law firm has experience with the post-9/11 first responders, and the litigation there represented over 6,000 people exposed to chemicals in the toxic waste site.”

“There is a way to quantify the damages for large groups of people. It’s going to be very hard to look at each child, but we know the type of injury that they’re going to be facing over the course of their lives, and this has been done before unfortunately and we’ll be able to do it here,” said Shkolnik.

Watch guest host Dr. Wilmer Leon, Attorney Hunter Shkolnik, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the looming class action lawsuit filed against Flint city officials for their “wide-reaching negligence” that resulted in the Flint water crisis in the video above.

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