LOCKWOOD, ANDREWS & NEWNAM, P.C., a Michigan corporation; LOCKWOOD, ANDREWS & NEWNAM, INC., a Texas corporation,

LEO A. DALY COMPANY, a Nebraska corporation,
   No. 16-2313
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
No. 5:16-cv-10663—John Corbett O’Meara, District Judge.
Argued: November 7, 2016
Decided and Filed: November 16, 2016
Before: GRIFFIN, KETHLEDGE, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.


GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge. This state-law professional negligence proposed class action suit arises out of the Flint Water Crisis, a public health disaster that drew national media coverage when the City of Flint decided to supply water to its residents using the Flint River without implementing necessary anti-corrosion measures. The series of events precipitating the tragedy have little to do with the issue before us on appeal. We deal, instead, with a question of procedure: must plaintiffs litigate their claim in state or federal court? In 2005, Congress revised the contours of federal diversity jurisdiction, making it easier to remove class actions to federal court, while at the same time providing an exception for cases that are “truly local in nature,” commonly called the “local controversy” exception. The parties dispute whether plaintiffs’ claim against defendants (civil engineering companies responsible for upgrading Flint’s municipal water system) belongs in state court under this exception. Though the Flint Water Crisis captured the attention of the nation, its infamy does not make it any less local. Because plaintiffs’ suit consists of a proposed class of more than two-thirds Michigan citizens, a significant local defendant, and injuries limited to the reach of Flint’s water system, it satisfies the statutory requirements of the local controversy exception. We therefore affirm the district court’s decision to remand this case to state court.