Michigan health boss in court over Legionnaires' - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Michigan health boss in court over Legionnaires'

Nick Lyon (Source: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services) Nick Lyon (Source: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services)
FLINT, MI (AP) -

Michigan's former head of disease control says she left it to the governor's office to tell the public about a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in the Flint, Michigan, area during the city's water crisis.

Corinne Miller returned to court Wednesday as a witness in a criminal case against her former boss, Nick Lyon, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. He's charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a man who had Legionnaires' disease. A judge must decide if the case goes to trial.

Lyon is accused of failing to timely alert the public about the 2014-2015 outbreak. Miller says it was "unprecedented for Genesee County."

She says it was a sensitive topic because Flint was being run by an emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Testimony is resuming as a judge considers whether the state's health director should go to trial for the death of a man who had Legionnaires' disease during the city's water crisis.

Corinne Miller is returning to the witness stand Wednesday. Michigan's former head of disease control believes a spike in Legionnaires' in Genesee County in 2014-15 was related to a switch in Flint's water supply.

At least a dozen deaths were linked to the outbreak.

"It would have been reasonable to release information earlier rather than later," Miller said.

Prosecutors tried to determine when Miller became aware of the outbreak and whether she shared those concerns with Lyon, her former boss.

"As was mentioned last time, if the hypothesis that the water was the source or the cause then it would be reasonable that something could happen, that more people could be infected," Miller said.

Prosecutors say Lyon didn't notify the public soon enough about the outbreak of the disease.

Miller's former boss, Nick Lyon, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office. Prosecutors say a timely alert about the Legionnaires' outbreak might have saved 85-year-old Robert Skidmore. He died of congestive heart failure, six months after he got Legionnaires'.

Lyon remains director of the Health and Human Services Department. Miller pleaded no contest to willful neglect of duty.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation)/The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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