State of Michigan Agrees to Pay $600 Million in Flint Water Crisis Legal Settlement

The agreement largely aims to compensate children who were exposed to the city’s contaminated water, but lawyers saw more litigation is in the pipeline.

The State of Michigan has agreed to a settlement the will see it pay out $600 million over its handling of the Flint water crisis.

“We are pursuing vigorously against two additional defendants.” — Theodore Leopold, Flint water crisis legal team

Michael Pitt is on the Flint water crisis legal team.  He says the outcome is the result of 18 months of negotiations with the state.

“The settlement will include some fantastic features,” Pitt says.  “$12 million is going to go to support the school children of Flint — to support them and provide services as may be required.”

Pitt says another $35 million from the settlement will be placed in a fund for children who were not able to have claims filed in time.

In total, about 80% of the money Michigan pays out to residents will be allotted for minors — who were 17 or younger when they were first exposed to high lead levels in the city’s drinking water.  However, legal fees will have to be deducted from the settlement before the exact amount is known.

Theodore Leopold worked with Pitt on the legal team that reached the deal.  He says this is not the end of litigation stemming from the Flint water crisis.

“We are pursuing vigorously against two additional defendants.” says Leopold. “Two engineering firms that we believe gave very improper financial advice to the City of Flint and to the State of Michigan.  And through their actions, that caused a lot of harm also.”

Leopold says class certification papers against those engineering firms are currently before a district court judge.  He says the defendants will have time over the coming months to file a response before litigation moves forward.

Author

  • Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.