Flint, MI—Residents have three weeks to opt in, or opt out of the $641.25 million Flint water lawsuit settlement.
Those who do not opt in or directly opt out by March 29 will be giving up their ability to receive any settlement funds, or file any future legal claims to the defendants in the case–the State of Michigan, the City of Flint, Rowe Engineering, and McLaren Hospital.
The State of Michigan announced the settlement, which would resolve all litigation related to the water crisis against the defendants, in August of last year. U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy preliminarily approved the terms of the settlement in January.
The settlement prioritizes children, with 79.5% of funds allocated to minors, 15% for adults, 3% for property owners, and 2% for 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.
As of Feb. 22, there have been 15,568 registrations.
According to Special Master Deborah Greenspan, of those registrations, 11,641 were adults meaning that they were 18 or older at the time of registration.
There were 2,295 minors that registered, meaning that they were under 18 at the time of registration, and 1,632 registrants did not provide a date of birth and cannot be classified as a minor or an adult.
Greenspan said to note that the definition of “adult” and “minor” for purposes of the compensation schedule is different than the definition above.
To register for the settlement, or view documents with information regarding the settlement, visit the official website here.
Residents can also visit the Flint Water Office located at 1188 Robert T. Longway, in the strip of offices behind the Holiday Inn Express. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Following COVID-19 safety protocols, residents can visit the office to fill out their registration forms online or on paper.
Those who choose to opt out of the settlement may pursue legal action as an individual with their own attorney. To opt out, you must mail a written request on the form attached as Exhibit 14, which can be found here on Page 809, to: Flint Water Settlement Program 1775 St. James Place Suite 200, Houston TX 77056.
If you do not want to be a part of the settlement, but do not send in an opt out form, you will not be able to file your own lawsuit against the defendants in the settlement. You cannot ask to opt out of the settlement by phone, email, or at the website.
In order to object to the settlement, you must be registered. You cannot object to the settlement if you opt out of it. To object, you can write to the Court about whatever issues you have with the settlement. The deadline to object is also March 29.