Property owners near failed dams win key court ruling

Posted at 3:23 PM, May 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-23 15:23:22-04

SANFORD, Mich. (AP) — Property owners near two dams that failed in the Midland area have won a key decision in lawsuits against the state.

Judge Cynthia Stephens says the lawsuits can go forward, rejecting a request to dismiss by the Michigan environment department.

It's an early stage in the litigation, but the ruling is a victory for people who claim the state contributed to the disaster. The lawsuits allege an unconstitutional taking of private property without compensation.

Attorney Ven Johnson says the state failed to demand repairs at the privately-owned Edenville Dam and emphasized a high lake level to protect aquatic life.