August 20th, 2020

The State of Michigan agreed to pay $600 million to Flint families who were affected by the Flint Water Crisis. The settlement, which was reached after 18 months of intense litigation, will be one of the largest settlements by the State of Michigan in history. The preliminary settlement specifies that roughly 80 percent of the settlement funds will be spent on children – many of whom were under six years old when they were exposed to lead contamination from the Flint River. The remaining 20 percent will be split between funding special education services in Genesee County, payments to adult claimants, and payments to businesses who demonstrated losses in relation to water contamination. If the settlement is approved by the court and the funds are distributed to Flint residents, the State of Michigan will have surpassed $1 billion in aid to the city of Flint and its surrounding areas in relation to relief and recovery from the Flint Water Crisis.

In our current climate, where the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted racial disparities that severely affect the public health of majority-minority communities, efforts to compensate and reinvest in these communities are critical to our ability to ensure that the health of every Michigan resident is protected.