August 20, 2020

The state of Michigan has agreed to pay victims of the Flint water crisis $600 million as compensation, both sources and officials confirmed Thursday.

The settlement would pay claims from several lawsuits that sought damages for people who suffered illnesses related to the crisis.

The majority of the settlement, about 80%, will go towards minors, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. Settlements for children ages 6 and under amount to 64%, while 10% will go towards children ages 7 to 11 and another 5% will go towards children ages 12 to 17.

It's estimated that tens of thousands of schoolchildren in Flint were exposed to toxic heavy metals in the city's water.

Adults and property damages make up 15% of the settlements, while business and economic loss and relief programs make up the rest.

Some 8,000 children are believed to have some level of lead poisoning in the city, while 150 people died from Legionnaires Disease, according to ABC Detroit affiliate WXYZ.

“The residents of Flint were victims of horrendous decisions by the State, its employees, and other defendants that have resulted in tragic and devastating consequences,” Ted Leopold, the court-appointed interim co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "This public health disaster was the product of a complete disregard for the health and well-being of ordinary citizens."

“While we can never undo the damage that occurred to the citizens and community of Flint, we are pleased that today we were able to secure a measure of justice for the proposed class and the Flint community, and will continue to seek justice against the remaining defendants,” Leopold said.

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