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Flint, MI– U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy is expected to announce her decision regarding the $641.25 million Flint water crisis settlement this week.
The State of Michigan announced the settlement in August of last year. At that time, it was worth $600 million.
In November, McLaren Regional Medical Center and Rowe Professional Services joined the settlement bringing the total up to $621.25 million. In December, after several weeks of indecision and debate, Flint City Council voted to approve the City joining the settlement with $20 million of insurance funds.
The settlement would resolve all litigation related to the water crisis against the defendants. If Judge Levy votes to preliminarily approve the settlement, then the process of filing claims or filing formal objections would begin.
But many Flint residents and community activists have been informally objecting to the settlement already.
The way the settlement is set up now, 79.5% of the settlement funds will go to children, 15% will go to adults, 3% will go to property owners, 2% will go to special education services in Genesee County, and 0.5% will go to business and economic loss. The terms of the settlement are detailed in a 71-page agreement which can be viewed online here.
Some of the categories require some proof of injury, such as results of a blood lead test, bone lead test, or cognitive test results.
People who have spoken out against the settlement have said those requirements may be unduly burdensome for residents, as they can be difficult to obtain.
The settlement amount has also been criticized. Some people are concerned about how much of the total funds will go to attorney fees, and how much money residents will actually get. By some estimations, adults might only get a few hundred dollars.
Activists who have been protesting the settlement are hopeful that she will hear their concerns, but also that she would take into consideration the recent charges made against officials involved in the water crisis.
Judge Levy said she would be listening to the concerns brought to her by Flint residents in making her decision.