Imagine one family with 10 children sharing two tubs of water between them on bath night.
Imagine one family with 10 children sharing two tubs of water between them on bath night. Imagine a neighborhood where residents either pay for private wells to be dug, haul water from cisterns, or collect rain water to be able to drink, cook, and bathe.
In your mental image, what year is this happening? What country is this taking place?
Did you say Columbus, OH, up until 2003? No!? Oh, yes, it's true — and the 67 plaintiffs denied public water service from 1956 up until five years ago have just been awarded $15,000 to $300,000 after civil rights attorneys sued and won a discrimination case in which residents of a mostly black neighborhood were denied public water service. The award totals $11 million.
The residents of the Coal Run neighborhood went without public water for decades. One resident says, "As a child, I thought it was normal because everyone done it in my neighborhood. But I realized as an adult it was wrong." The money will compensate the plaintiffs for pain and suffering as well as monetary losses. To see the defense's argument, read more