After two years, the state of Michigan has been ordered by a judge to pay $600 million to resolve the legal claims relating to Flint’s water crisis, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel.
After thousands of individuals were exposed to lead-contaminated water as a result of Flint’s water crisis, 12 people died. Kidney and brain damage, in addition to other behavioral and physiological issues, can be brought on by lead exposure.
“This historic settlement cannot undo the unimaginable hardship and heartbreaking health effects these families and children in Flint have endured,” Nessel said to The Hill. “This ruling provides families with much- needed compensation for the injuries they have suffered. I am proud of my team’s tireless work on behalf of the people of Flint.”
Rick Synder, a former governor of Michigan, attempted to save the city money by transferring Flint’s water system from Detroit’s Lake Huron to the Flint River nine years prior to this settlement. The Michigan Advance claims that because no anti-corrosion precautions were taken when the alteration was made, oil from the pipes leaked into the city’s water supply. The publication also claims that people of Flint started to complain about the water’s discoloration, which resulted in rashes and hair loss.
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission wrote:
“The people of Flint have been subjected to unprecedented harm and hardship, much of it caused by structural and systemic discrimination and racism that have corroded your city, your institutions, and your water pipes, for generations.” The Michigan Civil Rights Commission added, “When the last of the civil lawsuits and the Attorney General’s criminal investigations are completed, and relief dollars from state and federal sources are exhausted, what will remain is a city and its people who will continue to fight against built-in barriers but whose voices — as a matter of public right — must never be stifled or quelled again.”
– Steve Sijenyi