The first part in the legal saga related to the Flint water crisis has settled for close to $100 million. However, that money isn’t going to the residents’ bank accounts. Instead, it’s going toward new plumbing in nearly 20,000 homes, and for continued monitoring, testing, and maintenance. About a third of the money is actually coming from the federal government, with the rest coming from the state.
There is a separate class action being brought on behalf of the residents that have suffered injuries, or other damages, which is currently ongoing. As part of this settlement however, the residents are assured an eventual end to the nightmare. While the settlement allows the city up to three years to complete the work, they may be off the hook for distributing free bottled water as early as this fall.
History of the Flint Water Crisis
In 2014, while the city of Flint, Michigan was under financial duress, to save money, they changed their water supply. In doing so, they polluted the entire city’s water system. Even though the water was routinely testing at toxic levels for lead contamination, authorities did not issue warnings, and even issued statements claiming everything was okay.
Unfortunately, as a result, many residents suffered from medical problems and fell ill. After many months, authorities finally admitted that there was a problem. However, the issue had become so bad that the only solution nearly required replacing the entire system, which fortunately has now been agreed upon. However, it took over two years to get to this point of agreeing to a solution, and it may take three more for the solution to be implemented. Effectively, this means that some Flint residents will have to effectively go without clean running water for over five years.
Seeking Remedies for Injuries From the Water Crisis
For individuals that have suffered injuries or financial damages as a result of the water crisis, or similar government public safety failure, there is usually a legally remedy available. Seeking out a consultation with a local injury attorney will usually be free of charge, and may provide valuable insights into your potential legal rights.
- Injured in an accident? Get matched with a local attorney. (Consumer Injury)
- Flint Residents Sue EPA for $772M in Class Action (FindLaw’s Injured)
- Lead Poisoning (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Lawsuits Seek Justice for Those Affected by Flint’s Tainted Water (FindLaw’s Strategist)