Flint, MI– McLaren Regional Medical Center may be reducing their contributions to the $641.25 million Flint water lawsuit settlement nearly a year after joining.

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

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 is set to contribute $20 million. 

But on July 20, the City of Flint administration added a resolution to the city council’s agenda requesting their approval of an amendment to the settlement agreement “to allow the McLaren Defendants to remain parties to the Settlement Agreement at a reduced contribution.”

City Attorney Angela Wheeler said the matter will be discussed in executive session during the committee meeting on July 21, and that she could not provide more information than what was in the resolution document. 

Flint Beat reached out to several attorneys involved in the lawsuit, all of whom declined to comment or did not respond by press time.

“It is likely that the McLaren Defendants will have walkaway rights that would enable them to withdraw from the Settlement Agreement and remove their $20 million contribution from the Settlement Funds,” the resolution states.

According to the document, “amending the Settlement Agreement to allow the McLaren Defendants to remain party to the Settlement Agreement at a reduced contribution will result in a larger settlement fund than if the McLaren Defendants exercise their walkaway rights.”

The resolution further states that this amendment would have “no financial impact on the City of Flint’s participation” in the settlement.

U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy preliminarily approved the settlement in January. On July 12, 13, and 15, Levy held hearings where she heard objections from lawyers and residents regarding the terms of the settlement. She has not yet made a decision about the fairness of the settlement, and whether to grant it final approval.

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...