$600 million settlement reached in Flint water crisis
Most of the money will be awarded to young children who were at risk for lead poisoning
The state of Michigan is expected to announce that a $600 million settlement will be paid to victims of the Flint water crisis that began in 2014.
Most of the money will be awarded to young children who were at risk for lead poisoning, which can cause physical damage and neurological problems, according to the Washington Post.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce the settlement on Friday, the outlet reported.
In 2014, state and local leaders of Flint, Michigan changed the source of its municipal water supply to save money. The city adjusted its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water (sourced from Lake Huron and the Detroit River) to the Flint River.
Officials failed to apply corrosion inhibitors to the water. Thus, lead from aging pipes leached into the water supply, exposing over 100,000 residents to elevated lead levels.
The Washington Post called the Flint water crisis, “one of the nation’s worst public health disasters in decades.”
The settlement was reviewed by the Post, which notes that “80 percent of the monetary award will go to residents who were younger than 18 at the time of their exposure. More than half of that amount will go toward children who were younger than 6.”
According to the report, the remaining 20 percent of the settlement will go to plaintiffs whose lawsuits pertained to other issues, such as property damage and loss of revenue.
The lawsuit encompasses several suits and cases filed against the state. However, other claims against private companies and former governor Rick Snyder will move forward.
The Flint water crisis has been the subject of several films and documentaries, including the 2017 Lifetime film Flint starring Queen Latifah and Jill Scott.
Six years later, though officials have declared the crisis over, many residents still do not trust the water from their taps and continue to use bottled water.
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