(AP MODIFIED) — 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. 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.
“This is a historic and momentous day for the residents of Flint, who will finally begin to see justice served. None of this would have been possible without the tireless advocacy from residents, who never gave up the fight. 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, court-appointed co-lead counsel and Partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, in a statement.