Jurors in a six-month trial against two engineering firms over the contamination of Michigan’s Flint River already sent two notes to the judge indicating they were at a standstill, but their last and final note, after eight days of deliberations, struck a nerve.

“For the physical and emotional health of the jurors, we don’t believe we can continue with further deliberations,” said the note. “Further deliberations will only result in stress and anxiety with no unanimous decision without someone having to surrender their honest convictions, solely for the purpose of returning a verdict.”