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Flint Residents Reach $25M Settlement with Engineering Firm in Water Crisis Lawsuit

Detroit Free Press

February 1, 2024

A group of Flint residents, businesses and property owners have reached a settlement agreement worth $25 million with an engineering firm that consulted city officials after the 2014 Flint Water Crisis, according to a Thursday court filing.

Veolia North America, a Boston-based engineering firm, reached a $25 million settlement with a group of class action claimants in Flint. The class action lawsuit was originally launched in 2016, after plaintiffs said Veolia and another engineering firm that worked in Flint after the onset of the water crisis, Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam (LAN), failed to identify corroding pipes and acted too slowly to address the water contamination. The exact details of the settlement have not been made available yet.

The settlement agreement also includes payment of $1,500 for each minor claimant represented in the lawsuit, up to $1.5 million, according to attorneys.

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The settlement is in addition to a $626.25 million settlement reached between Flint residents and the state of Michigan, and others, in 2021. Ted Leopold, one of the plaintiffs’ court-appointed attorneys and co-lead trial counsel and partner at law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll, said payments from that settlement still haven’t been issued, citing procedural issues.

“The administrators are trying to expedite it as quickly as they can,” Leopold said Thursday. “We hope that this particular (payment) will move as expeditiously as possible.”

Leopold hopes the settlement agreement can bring at least a bit of relief to the Flint residents affected by the drinking water crisis.

“It was such a horrific episode,” he said. “Certainly, there’s some community history and decisions that were made by the state of Michigan and others that I think run very deep and personal. I like to say that litigation and closure can bring peace of mind and justice, hopefully we’ve got some semblance of that here. But there’s a long history there.”

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