In early April, Lee-Anne Walters discovered that one of her children was lead poisoned from exposure to extremely high levels of lead in the tap water of her Flint home. After she filed a complaint as directed by administrators, Flint decided to replace both the city owned and privately owned (Ms. Walters’) lead pipe in front of her home.
However, before replacing the lead pipe, the City attorney wanted her to sign a waiver that started like this:
I, Leeana Walters for the sole consideration of the replacement of a lead pipeline on my propertylocated at 212 Browning Street at a cost of One-Thousand-One Hundred Dollars ($1,1 00.00), to bepaid by the City of Flint, a Michigan municipal corporation, do, for and on behalf of myself, my survivors, heirs, legal representatives and assigns, hereby release and forever discharge the City ofFlint, a Michigan municipal corporation, its officer, agents, employees, divisions, departments,volunteers, boards, commissions and multiple member bodies, from any and all actions, causes ofaction, claims and demands of whatsoever kind or nature on account of any and all known andunknown injuries, losses and damages, by me sustained or received, and for any and all claims that Ihad, now have or shall have by reason of, or being the subject matter related to the excavation andinstallation of a replacement pipeline on my property located at 212 Browning Street and claimsstated in my damage claim (Exhibit 1).
This waiver was nearly two pages long, and the city told Ms. Walters that this waiver was routine procedure, and that if she wanted the lead pipe removed, she would have to sign it.
She refused to sign and the City ultimately decided to replace her lead pipe anyway. We wondered what other residents of Flint or any other US city would have done, if asked to sign such a statement, so as to get drinking water in their home that did not have astronomical levels of lead.