Judge says challenge to Flint water rates can be class-action

FLINT (AP) - A judge says a lawyer challenging Flint over water bills can turn the case into a class-action lawsuit, potentially affecting 30,000 people.

Genesee County Judge Archie Hayman announced his decision Monday in a crowded courtroom. Three weeks ago, he ordered Flint to stop cutting off water to people with unpaid bills.

Hayman also lowered water rates and ordered the city to stop collecting a special fee to replenish the water fund. Flint is appealing to a higher court and predicting dire consequences if the decisions are allowed to stand.

Meanwhile, three groups working to stop the use of the Flint River for drinking water submitted a petition with 26,000 signatures Monday. But officials say new carbon filters are effectively removing organic carbons.

The city broke away from the Detroit system.

Published: Wed, Sep 02, 2015