The judge finally approved a $626 million settlement for people affected by the Flint water crisis

Read Time:2 Minute, 47 Second


U.S. District Judge Judith E. Levy wrote in her order that the settlement was a “significant achievement for many reasons” and stated that it “developed a comprehensive compensation plan and timetable for each eligible participant It’s all consistent.”

Levy wrote that the order for payment of attorney’s fees will be issued separately.

The details of the settlement are expected to provide compensation to “tens of thousands of people affected by exposure to lead, legionella and other pollutants in the municipal water supply system in Flint”, the details of which were first made public in August 2020.

At that time, the interim co-lead counsel of the victims of the crisis stated in a press release that the settlement was “the result of five years of litigation and 18 months of court supervision negotiations”, adding that “the interim co-lead counsel will continue to represent the city of Flint. Certain residents and local businesses who suffered damages from the crisis filed claims against the remaining defendants.”

Flint declared the water crisis into a state of emergency in 2015. More than a month before, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a report stating that it found that lead levels reached dangerous levels that could affect the heart, kidneys and nerves. Water flowing into residents’ homes.

Dozens of lawsuits against Michigan and Flint, including class-action lawsuits, many of which emphasize the youngest victims—children exposed to lead and toxins may cause neurological diseases and learning disabilities.

Pay attention to young victims

The settlement agreement will establish a court-supervised victim compensation fund, which will pay directly to Flint residents-according to the terms of the settlement agreement, nearly 80% of the payments will be paid to people under the age of 18 at the time of the crisis. Minors 6 years or younger will receive the largest share.

In addition, according to court documents, US$35 million will be reserved for “future minor claimants” to accommodate children who have not filed a claim immediately.

The Supreme Court won't stop a lawsuit filed by victims of the Flint water crisis

Based on the available funds, these children will have the opportunity to file a settlement claim before the age of 19.

“This distribution recognizes that those who were exposed to contaminated flint water at a young age would be more harmed than the elderly,” Levy wrote.

Affected adults will receive 15% of the funds, landlords and renters will receive 3%, business owners and operators will receive 0.5%, and 2% of the funds will be used for “procedural relief” to provide basis for special education Court documents to provide services to eligible individuals.

Levy pointed out that the defendants participating in the settlement do not include all individuals involved in the water crisis litigation, so the settlement is “only a partial settlement of the Flint Water case”.

Levy wrote that of the $626 million settlement agreement, approximately $600 million will be paid by Michigan and other defendants associated with state agencies, making it “one of the largest settlements in the history of the state.”

The order stated that the remaining portion will be shared by the City of Flint and its related defendants, McLaren Healthcare and Rowe Professional Services Company.

CNN’s Michael Besozzi contributed to this report.



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