Former mayor, residents reject $641M water crisis settlement

Former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver(WNEM)
Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 1:54 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is voicing her displeasure over the $641 million settlement over the Flint water crisis as lawyers continue to debate whether it’s fair in federal court.

“Unfair. It’s unreasonable, and it’s inadequate,” Weaver said. “I’m objecting to the amount. I’m objecting to the distribution. I’m objecting to the documentation and now we can add I’m objecting to the bone scan testing as well. One of the things we know is we are tired of being used as guinea pigs and lab rats.”

As a U.S. District Court judge is hearing on whether the settlement is fair, as it stands, 32 percent of the $641 million settlement would be shifted away from Flint residents to pay the lawyers who have represented them. A big component of who gets what and how much is determined by the bone scans, according to MiLAW President Robert Dorigo Jones.

“These are bone scans used with equipment designed to be used on rocks and dirt,” Jones said.

Another issue to objecting attorneys is the access to the scans.

Frank Bednarz, an attorney with the Center for Class Action Fairness, said many people weren’t notified there was a deadline to get a test, which he said closed in April.

“If you get the top level of bone test results, you get over 14 times as much money as someone that just lived in Flint. There’s no other way to qualify except for a blood lead test and the only way to get that is if you get a time machine,” Bednarz said.

The group is also demanding more transparency regarding the attorney costs, but so far they said that information has been secretive, adding this would be the largest attorney payout in Michigan’s history.

“Our power, they’re gonna hear our voice today and we are going to show them how Flinstones are strong and resilient,” Weaver said.