Flint residents affected by the toxic lead water crisis will be eligible to receive payments from a $600 million preliminary settlement. A court-monitored victim compensation fund will allow Flint water crisis victims to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in payments. The parties involved in the settlement include the state of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and all individual state defendants, including former governor Rick Snyder.
Almost 80 percent of the settlement fund will be divvied out to children who were under 18 when the crisis began in April 2014. The effects of lead are especially poignant in children, as the mineral impacts brain development. An earmarked $12-million fund will be created in escrow to offer special education and other services for children who suffer chronic health/behavioral impacts as a direct result of lead poisoning. Another $35 million will be placed in a trust for “forgotten children” who cannot file claims within the required time frame and will be eligible to do so when they reach adult age.
“The residents of Flint were victims of horrendous decisions by the state, its employees, and other defendants that have resulted in tragic and devastating consequences,” said Florida attorney Ted Leopold. He was appointed by a federal judge along with Royal Oak attorney Michael Pitt, to lead a class-action litigation combining scores of individual lawsuits. “While we can never undo the damage that occurred to the citizens and community of Flint, we are pleased that today we were able to secure a measure of justice for the Flint community,’ Leopold stated.
As for the US Environmental Protection Agency and other private organizations involved in the shift of Flint’s drinking water source from (safe) Lake Huron to the (toxic) Flint River, litigation will continue.
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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.