Detroit Evening Report: Jury awards $100K to Flint health worker in wrongful termination suit

Welcome to the Detroit Evening Report, a daily round-up of news that city residents need to know.

In this file photo, the Flint water plant tower is seen, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Flint. A Michigan Supreme Court order that charges related to the Flint water scandal against former Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and seven other people must be dismissed is the latest development in the crisis that started in 2014. That was when the city began taking water from the Flint River without treating it properly, resulting in lead contamination.

A jury has awarded $100,000 to a woman who says she lost her job after refusing to falsify blood test results for Flint children who were exposed to lead.

April Cook-Hawkins worked for four to five months at the Genesee County health department in 2016 before being forced to quit. The health department says Cook-Hawkins was ousted over her performance.

But attorney Carol Laughbaum says the jury didn’t accept that reason last week and awarded $100,000 for emotional distress after a brief trial. Cook-Hawkins told jurors she was directed to record lead-level results that she knew were inaccurate.

The lawyer who represented Cook-Hawkins’ boss at the health department said he was disappointed with the trial result.

Other headlines for September 21, 2022:

  • National Expungement Week: 168K Detroiters eligible to have records cleaned
  • Wayne County Court Appointed Special Advocates program transitioning to nonprofit
  • Wayne State University receives $1.5 million grant to help low-income students graduate
  • Detroit breaks ground on $23 million mixed use development in SW Detroit

Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio, AP

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Nargis Rahman

    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.