FLINT, Mich.,Jan. 19, 2016/PRNewswire/ -- A group ofFlintresidents have filed two new class-action lawsuits against Gov.Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and additional government officials.

The Genesee County Circuit Court lawsuit requests that Circuit Court JudgeArchie Haymanenjoin theCity of Flintfrom water shut-offs and that he declare that theFlintwater users are not required to pay past or future bills for useless and harmful water.

In the Court of Claims case filed onFriday January 15, 2016, the injured citizens seek to hold theState of Michiganfinancially accountable for this man-made catastrophe. Those class members who owned property in the City are claiming an unjust and unconstitutional taking of their property without fair compensation. Known as an inverse condemnation action, the State, by its actions, destroyed or impaired the property values inFlintand must be held accountable to cover the losses in property value.

The new class actions focus on the conduct of the MDHHS. In June throughSeptember 2014, MDHHS had in its possession reports that indicated a dramatic increase in elevated blood lead levels of the children ofFlintand it knew that this spike correlated precisely with the exposure to the lead laced Flint River drinking water. The Department had information that there was a public health emergency yet sat of the information for more than 10 months. The lead poisoning of many ofFlint'schildren could have been avoided if the Department had shared with the public this vital information.

The new class actions also focus on the serious harm caused by the prolonged and repeated false assurances made by public officials to the public that the Flint River water was safe to drink and use. These false assurances caused many people to experience serious health effects when they unnecessarily consumed toxic river water---serious health conditions which could have been avoided by simply telling the public the truth about the toxicity of the water they were encouraged to drink.

The complaints also point out similar behavior on the part of the MDHHS in not reporting a major spike in the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. It remains to be seen how many lives could have been saved if the MDHHS had shared the information with the public in a timely fashion.

"Tens of thousands ofFlintresidents were unnecessarily injured and hundreds of millions of property damage resulted due to the deliberate indifference of a handful of state, city and county officials," saidMichael Pitt, co-counsel for the plaintiffs. "Public officials must never again be permitted to give assurances to the public about public health conditions when they know the assurances are false. Public officials must never again be permitted to ruin the lives of our children by remaining silent in the face of a public health emergency," Pitt said.

"The attention of the state and the country are finally focused onFlintand there is outrage. But this public outrage doesn't mean the affected residents will be fairly compensated for their injuries and damages. They will still be here long after the media has gone and we want to help to ensure that they receive just and fair compensation," Pitt said.

The legal team representing theFlintresidents includesMichael Pitt,Cary McGehee,Peggy PittandBeth Rivers(Pitt McGehee Palmer& Rivers);Bill Goodman,Julie HurwitzandKathryn Bruner James(Goodman and Hurwitz);Trachelle Young(Trachelle C. Young& Associates) andDeborah LaBelle(Law Offices ofDeborah A. LaBelle).