Detroit Evening Report: Firm announces $25M settlement over role in Flint water crisis

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The Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich.

The Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Mich.

Flint residents, businesses and property owners have reached a $25 million settlement with an engineering firm that contracted with the city after the 2014 Flint water crisis.

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The class-action lawsuit, originally launched in 2016, alleged that Boston-based Veolia North America and another engineering firm, Lockwood Andrews and Newmam, failed to identify corroding pipes and acted too slowly to stop the water contamination.

The settlement agreement includes payments of $1,500 for individual minors, according to Veolia North America. The company says the agreement will resolve claims made on behalf of more than 45,000 Flint residents.

That is in addition to the $626 million settlement reached between Flint residents and the state of Michigan and others in 2021.

Flint, which was under state-appointed managers, used the Flint River for water in 2014-15, but the water wasn’t treated the same as water previously supplied by a Detroit-area provider. As a result, lead leached throughout the vast pipe system.

The state was sued because environmental regulators and other officials missed opportunities to fix Flint’s water problems during the lead crisis. Flint returned to a regional water supplier in the fall of 2015.

Criminal investigations into the water crisis have now ended. And the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal launched by the state in former Governor Rick Snyder’s case last October.

Veolia North America had faced a trial this month in federal court, but that has been suspended pending final approval of its settlement agreement, the company said. The exact details of the settlement have not been made available yet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Other headlines for Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024:

  • Michigan’s redistricting commission is ready to take public comment on several drafts of new state House maps.
  • Today is the first day of Black history month, and Chicano History Week begins Feb. 2. Detroit’s Senate Theater will host a free screening of the documentary “American Homeboy,” at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, to celebrate Chicano history. Additionally, the Detroit Public Library will host “An Evening With Detroit Opera” at 7 p.m. Feb. 20, in celebration of the legacy of Black artists and composers.
  • Michigan’s Free Snowmobiling Weekend is set for Feb. 9-11, during which Michiganders can ride without a snowmobile registration or trail permit.
  • Detroit City Council Member Gabriela Santiago-Romero will host a free family fun skate night at Rollercade Detroit from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.