October 4, 2022
Jury Awards Woman Who Allegedly Lost Her Job For Not Proving Flint Data Wrong

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A jury has awarded $100,000 to a woman who says she lost her job after refusing to falsify the results of a children’s blood test. lead-contaminated water in Flint, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

April Cook-Hawkins worked at the Genesee County Health Department for about four to five months before being forced to quit in 2016, her attorney, Carol Lafbaum, said.

The department said Cook-Hawkins was ousted because of her performance, but the jury did not accept that reason last Friday and awarded $100,000 for emotional distress, Lafbaum said.

“They (health department) said she was not a team player. There was virtually nothing in the trial to show that she was not a team player,” the lawyer said.

FILE - The Flint Water Plant Tower is seen on January 6, 2022 in Flint, Michigan.  Majority-Black City residents were exposed to lead when the city used water from the Flint River and did not treat it to reduce the corrosive effect on old pipes.
FILE – The Flint Water Plant Tower is seen on January 6, 2022 in Flint, Michigan. Majority-Black City residents were exposed to lead when the city used water from the Flint River and did not treat it to reduce the corrosive effect on old pipes.

Carlos Osorio via The Associated Press

Cook-Hawkins told jurors that they had been directed to record lead-level results that they knew were wrong.

“The county had two sets of records: blue sheets with actual test data and the proven version, white sheets, with handwritten corrections showing true lead levels,” Lafbaum said.

Lawyer Michael Edmonds, representing then-nurse director Tony Larrocco, said he was disappointed with the outcome of the test.

“I am currently in the process of advising the county about its options,” he said.

Majority-Black City Residents When the city removed water from the Flint River without treating it to reduce the corrosive effect on old pipes in 2014-15, the lead was exposed. The city reverted to a regional water supplier in the fall of 2015.

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