Head Of Michigan Health Department Reportedly Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter
Nick Lyon, head of the Michigan health department, has reportedly been charged with involuntary manslaughter for his handling of the Flint water crisis.
Lyon is accused of failing to alert Flint residents about a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonic lung infection caused by the Legionella bacteria. This outbreak has been determined to have been caused by the poor quality of the city’s water.
It is also reported that four others — “former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former Flint water manager Howard Croft, and Liane Shekter-Smith and Stephen Busch of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality” — have also been charged in connection to the 12 deaths (due to the outbreak) and lead poisoning of children.
As of January 2016, there were 87 reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease, and 10 people died as a result of the illness.
Flint began incorporating river water into its water supply in 2014 but failed to put it through the necessary treatments to reduce corrosion. The water was tainted by lead from old plumbing systems.