Judge Approves Settlement for Victims of Flint Water Crisis

Victims will receive a $626 million settlement.

Victims will receive a $626 million settlement.

Back in 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan switched its water supply source from the Luke Huron system used by Detroit to the Flint River. The move was intended to save the financially struggling community money, but the old pipes in the Flint system had not been properly maintained or updated. This led to lead leaking into the water system and tainting the water supply, inflicting numerous cases of Legionnaires’ disease that eventually led to at least 14 deaths while leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without clean tap water. Local officials denied any problems for a year until they finally admitted culpability. Flint has since returned to the Detroit system, though many residents still use bottled water out of distrust of the local government.

Residents of Flint filed a joint lawsuit against the state of Michigan on the grounds of ignoring public health risks. Yesterday, District Judge Judith Levy awarded the residents a settlement of $626 million to paid out by the state of Michigan. This money will be used to aid children and adults who were affected by the tainted water, as well as business owners and private citizens who were forced to pay water bills for the tainted taps.

“The settlement reached here is a remarkable achievement for many reasons,” Judge Levy said, adding that the deal “sets forth a comprehensive compensation programme and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant”.

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