Compiled from news reports, press releases
LANSING, MI, November 10, 2021 -- Today, the State of Michigan's Flint water civil settlement was formally approved in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by District Judge Judith E. Levy. The total amount, when additional defendants are factored in, is a historic $626.25 million.
In beginning her 178-page order, Judge Levy wrote:
Before the Court is a motion for final approval of a partial settlement that provides compensation to tens of thousands of people who were impacted by exposure to lead, legionella, and other contaminants from the City of Flint’s municipal water supply system during the events now known as the Flint Water Crisis. The settlement resolves thousands of claims pending in this Court, the Genesee County Circuit Court, and the State of Michigan Court of Claims... The settlement involves both class action and non-class action lawsuits.The settlement reached here is a remarkable achievement for many reasons, not the least of which is that it sets forth a comprehensive compensation program and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant, regardless of whether they are members of a class or are non-class individuals represented by their own counsel.
"For those who have endured the damage done by the Flint water crisis, I know this day brings only partial relief to what remains unimaginable hardship, but I hope this important settlement can be acknowledged as a positive step in the healing process," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. "The people of Flint deserve accountability and to be compensated for any injuries they suffered. I am proud of my civil team's tireless work to reach this historic settlement. Their commitment to this process cannot be understated."
"The court's final approval of the settlement is an important step forward in the process of helping Flint heal and making amends to the families and individuals who have faced so much uncertainty. What happened in Flint should never have happened, and no amount of money can completely compensate people for what they have endured," added Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "We hope this settlement helps the healing continue as we keep working to make sure that people have access to clean water in Flint and communities all across Michigan. While this chapter may have concluded, we hear and respect those voices who remind us that healing Flint will take a long time. Our long-term commitment to the people of Flint is undiminished, and we will keep working to help build the bright future that the people of Flint deserve."
"Roughly 80% of the money will be for children who were under the age of 18 during the crisis," noted attorney Corey M. Stern, in a statement. Stern was appointed by the state to represent some 4,000 Flint children.
"During a time when politics have created divisiveness in our communities, this settlement was ably accomplished with a legislature and Governor from different political parties who ultimately chose the welfare of children over politics," he said. "While our country and Flint residents have been suffering for years, today is a watershed moment for the children of Flint, and a model of decision making that should serve as an example for our communities and leaders across the country."