Culture

State of Michigan Reaches $600 Million Settlement Over Flint Water Crisis

Nearly 80 percent of the money will go to Flint residents who were under the age of 18 at the time of the water crisis.

On Thursday, CNN reported that the state of Michigan has reached a settlement in the Flint water crisis lawsuit. The settlement, worth $600 million, will establish a court-monitored victims compensation fund to provide payments.

“This partial settlement is the result of 5 years of litigation and 18 months of court supervised negotiations,” a press release reads. “Interim Co-lead Counsel will continue to pursue claims against the remaining defendants on behalf of certain residents and local businesses in the City of Flint harmed by the water crisis.”

Flint residents voiced their concerns in 2015, even storming the state capitol in 2018. The Environmental Protection Agency found dangerous levels of lead in the water flowing into residents’ homes. Two studies in 2017 found the water lowered fertility rates by 12 percent and caused a 58 percent increase in fetal deaths after April 2014. This is around the time the city switched from water supplied by the city of Detroit to using the Flint River. The city cut corners, failing to add needed anti-corrosives to the city’s water.

Nick Lyon, head of the state’s health department, and four other public officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter over the crisis.

Many celebrities got involved with Flint water crisis relief efforts. In 2019, Jaden Smith partnered with a local church to deploy a mobile water treatment system for the city’s residents. In 2017, Bruno Mars donated $1 million from concert proceeds to The Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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