Local Michigan residents and businesses have filed a complaint against owners and operators of a dam in Edenville, MI, whose failures caused massive evacuations and damage to the town when the dam broke on May 19, 2020. The dam break was caused by years of neglect, sending floodwaters surging through towns and residential areas. Water then broke through the Sanford dam farther downstream, overtaking poorly functioning barriers and inadequate spillways that had not been properly maintained or repaired for years. The complaint was filed jointly by Grant & Eisenhofer, Morgan & Morgan and Jenner Law.
Regulatory agencies had repeatedly cited the dams as inadequate to handle an extreme event. “Despite the defendants’ well-known record of ignoring safety regulations, they now appear to be trying to exploit political divisions within the state by blaming the government for failures at the properties they were responsible for maintaining,” said the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. “This is a despicable dereliction of oversight and public trust, and homeowners and businesses throughout the area are paying the price. Our class action is a vital step to hold the dam owners accountable to the law and to common decency.”
To add insult to injury, plaintiffs are already struggling to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many suffered equipment damage, as well as inventory loss.