DETROIT (AP) — A judge in Michigan has approved a $626 million settlement for Flint residents and others who were exposed to lead-contaminated water.
The state is providing $600 million of the settlement.
“For those who have endured the damage done by the Flint water crisis, I know this day brings only partial relief to what remains unimaginable hardship, but I hope this important settlement can be acknowledged as a positive step in the healing process.” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “The people of Flint deserve accountability and to be compensated for any injuries they suffered. I am proud of my civil team’s tireless work to reach this historic settlement. Their commitment to this process cannot be understated.”
The state was accused of repeatedly overlooking the devastating risks of switching Flint’s water source in 2014 without treating the water to prevent contamination.
Flint managers appointed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder allowed the city to use the Flint River without treating the water to reduce corrosion.
As a result, lead in old pipes broke off and flowed through taps.
Flint switched back to a Detroit regional water agency in fall 2015.
"Though we can never undo what has occurred, this settlement makes clear that those who egregiously violate the law and harm their communities will be held accountable,” said Ted Leopold, one of the lead attorneys in the litigation.