EPA, Jackson, water crisis, Mississippi, discrimination

Flint Residents Still Waiting To Be Paid From The $626.25 Million Legal Settlement, A Decade After Water Crisis

Residents were subjected to nearly a decade of lead-poisoned drinking water by the city.

Many Flint, Michigan, residents haven’t received their money from the $626.25 million legal settlement owed them after they were subjected to nearly a decade of lead-poisoned drinking water provided by the city. 

City officials in charge of distributing the claims on the administrative end said that the money should have been paid out by March 2023. Once the deadline passed without word on when the legal settlement would be given out, Flint residents were told it would be by Christmas. On Feb. 28, attorney Deborah Greenspan said the initial review of the claims would be completed by the end of June.

However, USA Today reported that Flint residents’ payments are likely to be delayed for many more months. Court records from the settlement case show that the payout structure has made it difficult for residents to get paid.

Many complained that lawyers would collect their money before victims, and that there would be a lot of paperwork for everyone to get what they’re owed. 

Ted Leopoldz, an attorney who is acting as co-lead class counsel in the Flint case, said, “We would have preferred a streamlined process that allowed claims to be processed and paid out as they were completed and ensured everyone impacted by the crisis was paid and as quickly as possible.”

He continued, “The state insisted on a grid in which the amount of every claim was dependent on every other claim and fairly high levels of documentation were required for each claim.”

According to the terms of the settlement, “No Flint claimant gets paid until all of the roughly 90,000 claims on behalf of about 46,000 Flint residents are fully resolved, including appeals.”

Adding to the difficultly is that many claimants have moved out of state or have died. This has caused extreme delays that aren’t normal for class action suits

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