Flint, MI—McLaren Hospital’s contribution to the Flint water crisis settlement may go from $20 million to nothing.

The Flint City Council Sept. 13 did not approve a resolution that would allow McLaren Hospital to reduce their contributions to the water lawsuit settlement. 

Without council’s approval to stay in the settlement for less money, McLaren may exercise their walk-away rights, leaving the original $641.25 million water settlement $20 million short. 

The settlement, announced in August of last year, would resolve all litigation related to the water crisis against the State of Michigan, the City of Flint, Rowe Engineering, and McLaren Hospital.  

The State of Michigan is contributing $600 million, the City of Flint is contributing $20 million, Rowe Engineering is contributing $1.25 million, and McLaren Hospital was set to contribute $20 million.

McLaren, specifically, has the right to walk away from the settlement agreement only if people who allege exposure to Legionella at McLaren Flint Hospital do not register for the settlement. Since a majority of those people did not register for the settlement, McLaren therefore has the legal right to leave the settlement, according to the settlement agreement.

But, a resolution came before the council for McLaren to reduce their contributions to the settlement rather than walking away entirely. This is something that the other settlement parties have agreed to already “quite some time ago,” said Assistant City Attorney William Kim during a council meeting on Sept. 13. 

At a committee meeting on Sept. 8, the council was first presented with the resolution that would allow McLaren to remain a part of the settlement, but reduce their contributions from $20 million to $5 million. 

Attorney Rich Berg, who represents the City of Flint as an entity in the settlement, urged the council to vote to approve the resolution at that meeting. 

“It’s $5 million more than would be there if McLaren walks away, which they have the right to do,” Berg said. “So the end result is, voting in favor of this amendment means there is more money available for the citizens than if you vote against it. Voting against the amendment means you’re taking $5 million away from the citizens.”

The council voted to send the resolution to the regular council meeting, but multiple members expressed their dissatisfaction with it then, and again at the meeting on Sept. 13.

 Councilwoman Monica Galloway asked if the city could face any kind of legal issues by not approving the resolution, and Attorney Kim said he didn’t believe so.

“We don’t believe that we are directly exposing the city to liability, however, several of these parties have expressed that they would be extremely unhappy,” Kim said.

Galloway called this an “intimidation tactic.”

“What about the fact that the residents of this community are extremely unhappy about the dollar amount that is being offered to subsidize anything that has happened to us in the last seven years?,” Galloway said. “Does anybody care about how extremely disappointed or angry we are about what is in place before us?” 

Councilwoman Eva Worthing urged her colleagues to vote based on facts, and not emotions. 

“No one is saying that we don’t care about those who were affected by this water crisis, but you can either vote yes and help the residents the most, or you can vote no, and you’re not helping them at all,” Worthing said.

The council voted 5-4 to “drop” the resolution, which is a little different than voting not to approve it.

When the council votes to drop a resolution, it is removed from the agenda, and cannot come back to the council for 30 days. In theory, this could come back after 30 days for the council to vote again, but for now, McLaren did not get the approval that it needed to stay in the settlement with reduced contributions.

Without that approval, McLaren has two options: stay in the settlement with $20 million, or walk away entirely.

Amy Diaz

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...

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2 Comments

  1. So Hurley Hospital should be Paying into this settlement!! I was pregnant and I was a high risk pregnancy for my 2 pregnancy i had in Hurley Hospital and living in Flint Using the Flint water and bathing anf drinking and baking using the water in my children’s baby bottles until I was told well really I saw my water color was starting to get darker and darker and the smell got worse. We stopped using the water and had to pay for our water from the stores and boil the water to bath in . To cook with ! To bath my children with! To use for their bottles with! Brush our teeth! I was in Hurley Hospital and I was eating the ice from the hospital and nobody had told me the first pregnancy in 2013 how the ice ,water and everything including in that was very much toxic poison and none of the employees ,nurses doctor’s NOBODY! Made me aware or told me not too and I was even given the water to drink for God sake! And bath in after having my children with a C-section. I had another and last child in Hurley Hospital which is located guess where?!?!? FLINT ! MY daughter was born 2 weeks early not to mention I was High Risk Pregnancy this whole time!! Getting told from my doctors my daughter may have Downsyndrome thank God so far she hasn’t been diagnosed for it. But my other 2 children my oldest son and my middle son both had to receive breathing treatments almost as soon as they were born and coming home with equipment for this breathing medicine with steroids medicine added to the medication they have to take now because of their asthma and breathing problems and being 3-4 weeks early from their original Birth day we had scheduled we had to reschedule earlier from originally planned. My house had the same toxic poison pipes that never got replaced !! THEY EVEN HAD THE Is a Gas City to charge people downtown Flint $400 to even activate beef for the water and then had the audacity to turn my water off me and my children so we had no water at our home and never replaced our piping or anything like that for that matter. Top it off can’t forget the grand finally OUR HOME WAS FORECLOSURED OUR HOME AND MADE ME AND MY FAMILY LEAVE OUR ONLY HOME WE OWNED AND HAD TO GO OR LIVE! We had our home taken from us in the worst way POSSIBLE! I also pleaded and begged and asked DHHS to help us and give us assistance or help direct Me the right way so I could find assistance and help to support me and my children and give us some hope to hang out and have any type of hope for the state and our city Flint for that matter to stand up and do what’s right and help us for wrongly doing us dirty and then DHHS worker even told me when I was explaining our situation about our water getting shut off and the house being taken and then consumers threatened to shut us off in the winter time. With me and my 3 young children. She told me the dhhs agent that if i don’t find help from someone or get it for taken care of by the end of that week because I was not eligible for assistance and I made too much and I wasn’t homeless with a credit score of 640 which I got from calling every single business and assistance i could find and referred too from dhhs workers and other surrounding state funded and non-profit organizations i have to be homeless with my children with a credit score of 640 for any housing assistance to be even eligible or even looked at . Back to what I was explaining in the beginning she as in the DHHS worker if I don’t get it taken care of or figure it out she has to choice but to call and send out child protection services on me because of my living situation?!?! Not too mention me and my 3 children was alone on this just us their father was not in the picture and we could get hey anyone from anywhere to even look at my case let alone really even give me 2 minutes of their time or help. I was transfered to one person to the next person and so on and so forth. And all this time I was not working i was barley even eligible for my cash assistance I was told I was making too much for to even receive what all services we were even getting! And going to school at the Workforce classes to further my education that I tried to finish and make a better future for me and my children but was not able to finish because we had to bounce to place to place to take showers to sleep to eat . It was a nightmare!! Finaly found a cheap trailer park to settle into for however long we needed too to be able to keep my children because of the city of Flint and the state of Michigan not wanting to do their jobs and obey by the oath they all take to honor and always be of service to is truly in need!! Truly I feel some of the that time quite a few of the agents from DHHS and water department agents were African Americans and me and my children were white and I did in fact go thru a lil bit of racism from them and dirty facials toward me and my children because we lived in the ghetto if you want to call it area where my home was resided in. We were in fact bullied in our neighborhood especially my young children when they are outside playing towered the end before we lost our home. They would get bullied alot of the neighborhood kids and older kids around the area mind you my 2 boys were only 2-6 my youngest was from 2 years old and my oldest son was 4 turning 5 when they were getting bullied and even had a couple of kids in the neighborhood aunts uncles mom cousins come not 1 but 5 people at a time our home banging on my door threatening us and I finally had enough and one day and this would happen a few times a month maybe and I walked out my door with my big pittbull massif bit aggressive male dog and told them if they don’t give of my private property my son here which refer to our dog will be having one big nice lunch and I told them if they come near me my children or my property and home again I will let him lose and have his full and call him back home and give him a pat and a bath and keep minding my own business and staying home and staying away and out anyone way or business. Which my road became more unsafe over the years with the shootings right down the street from our home and our streets getting blocked off from stand offs between some person or persons and the police. Not having the help and safety from the police in Flint when you call them for assistance and help and never show up and call the next day and ask do I still need help?!?! No I’m good thanks ! Thank God me and my children aren’t racist or taught my children much about racism until towards the end when we had to move out of our home they asked tears in their eyes at times why are they the neighborhood kids being so mean and. Dumping garabge and slurpees and whatever else they felt like they had the right to do. I would start to sniffle and tear up and tell my children they don’t know any better my babies they have no guidance and no good direction from anyone that sees the wrongfulness they all were doing and treating us. Can’t blame the children for the parents not teaching their children what is right and how they should behave and give everyone respect no matter the difference in the color of their skin or disabilities or how different they maybe. Thankfully we had a few awesome neighbors that in fact were black but like I said color is no issue nor see anyone that is different or may have different color of their skin see or treat any different then i would anyone else. We all are all the same !! I don’t see or feel that anyone is any better then the other or should be treated or act like they are anymore special then the other!!! We all bleed the same color we are all people and should treat it all the same nothing more nothing less!! But sadly not all feel the same but we did indeed run into quite a bit of different folks and they definitely helped tremendously and showed others that they had our backs and that we were good people and not to mess with us anymore! So shout out to all those around Chambers Street that had our back and stuck up for me and my children !! My children made a few friends that lived next door to us and close to our house and became bestie until we had to move out of our home because it was sold under our feet and told if I don’t I will lose my children!! SO STEP US MCLAREN HOSPITAL AND HURLEY HOSPITAL AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND FELLOW ORGANIZATIONS THAT DENIED PEOPLE LIKE ME AND MY CHILDREN AND THE MAJOR FOR LYING TO US ALL AND POISONING ME AND MY CHILDREN AND MANY MANY OTHERS SKIN HEALTH AND MENTAL and PHYSICAL learning disabilities and health issues now. BECAUSE OR YOU’RE GREED AND EVILNESS AND WANTING MORE AND TAKING EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING AS THEY FELT NEEDED! Flint major even getting caught stealing our hard earned money the communitys pensions the community bill money organization money the money that should have went back to the community to the assistance when family are in need embezzling it all !?!? And if I’m not mistaken getting kicked out the seat of major to get voted right back in!?! Don’t quote me but I pretty sure this is what happened?!?! COME UP TO THE PLATE AND DO WHATS RIGHT MCLAREN HOSPITAL AND FLINT MICHIGAN STATE OF MICHIGAN AND HURLEY HOSPITAL AND STAND UP FACE THE MUSIC AND MAKE THE ALL THE WRONGS YOU WERE APART OF AND BE THE LEADER AND TAKE THAT STAND AND BE THE BIGGER PERSON AND TAKE THE LEAD AND BE THAT ROLE MODEL AND PAY IN!! So we can finally MOVE ON ALREADY !!! And be able to begin the process of forgiveness and move on with all our life’s and get what we all need and start making our relationships as a city as a community back to semi normalish whatever normal means and we all can work together and spread the positives and loves around then this hatred and negativity we have that has over stayed its welcome for far too long!! THANK YOU FOR READING MY COMMENT SORRY IT’S SO LONG BUT I COULDN’T TAKE IT NO MORE AND HAD TO LET IT OUT AND TELL MY SIDE OF LIFE MY POINT OF VIEWS END EXPERIENCES IN LIFE!! and I dont mean no harm feelings or do I have any racism in anything I had said I am just trying to give my point of view be in my shoes and life and get our story out and what it’s like on our end of things which is no better or worse or more special then anyone or anything!! God bless thank you again stay safe and healthy!! Xoxo

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