Activists, community leaders react to Flint Water settlement

Flint Water Plant
Flint Water Plant(WNEM)
Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 1:49 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - A federal judge has signed off on the $626 million deal for the Flint Water Crisis, providing compensation to tens of thousands of people impacted by the city’s water supply.

That figure includes contributions from four sources.

Judge Judith Levy signed off on the settlement Wednesday. But whether it is good news for the city of Flint depends on who you ask.

“I think it’s a sad day in this chapter of the Flint water crisis,” said Karen Weaver, the former mayor.

Weaver is disappointed in the numbers from the final settlement.

“I’m not satisfied I’m not happy about the settlement at all I never thought it was justice for the city of Flint I never thought that amount was financial accountability for what happened to the people of Flint,” Weaver said.

$600 million will come from the state, the city of Flint will pay $20 million, McLaren will pay $5 million, and Rowe Engineering will pay $1.25 million.

“When you think about death, loss of life, women who had stillbirths and miscarriages, when you look at the cognitive impact that it’s had on our kids,” Weaver said.

Resident and activist Claire McClinton is shocked at the judge’s decision, especially since the city is being held responsible for 20 million.

“What was Judge Levy thinking when she allowed McLaren to pull out 15 million out of the original settlement and to go on their merry way,” McClinton said. “Because we did not poison ourselves; the emergency manager, the state was in control when this unfortunate disaster took place. So why are we, the residents of Flint being asked to pay as if we poisoned ourselves?”

Here’s the breakdown on how that money will be disbursed.

64.5 percent will go to Flint children 6 and younger, 10 percent will go to children ages seven to 11, and 5 percent will go to children ages 12 to 17.

15 percent will go to adults 18 and over. 3 percent will be for property owners and renters. And half a percent is for businesses that suffered property and economic losses.

“I don’t think people are aware of how little they’re going to get out of this settlement because it sounds like a lot of money, and that’s just not true,” McClinton said.

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley issued a statement that no amount of money will heal the wounds inflicted on this community, adding that this judgment provides some sense of comfort to Flint families.

“I just feel the legal system and in this particular case the judge has failed the residents of Flint as well as the state of Michigan has failed us,” McClinton said.

The judge has yet to determine the lawyers’ fees from the settlement, which will be done in a separate order.