Flint mayor warns of scams targeting $600 million water settlement
State and civil litigation attorneys have websites with Flint water settlement information
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The $600 million Flint water crisis settlement could be a boon for scammers, so Mayor Sheldon Neeley is warning residents to be careful about where they get information.
The state has set up a new website at flintsettlementfacts.org to provide official information about the status of the proposed agreement and payouts for Flint residents. Neeley said that will be the best place for residents to seek updates.
Click here to see a website set up by a group of attorneys for Flint water crisis victims to receive information about the ongoing litigation. The attorneys also can be reached at 1-866-536-0717 or email@example.com.
“I encourage all residents to use the utmost caution, especially now in the days immediately following the announced settlement,” Neeley said. “To ensure these dollars are given to Flint families and children as intended, we need to be aware that some may try to exploit our families for their own financial benefit.”
The website allows residents to sign up for email and text alerts, so they receive additional updates as the settlement deal progresses.
A federal judge still has to approve the settlement and appoint someone to oversee the $600 million fund. Then people will have to opt into the settlement and file a formal claim. An investigator will look into each claim before a damage amount is set and money is paid out.
Eighty percent of the settlement fund will allocated for children who were age 18 and younger when the water crisis started on April 25, 2014 with Flint’s switch to drawing drinking water from the Flint river. An attorney who represents thousands of children in the litigation believes kids who were younger than six could receive a six-figure payment.
Adults, property owners, business owners and education providers also will receive portions of the settlement.
If approved in court, the $600 million would settle dozens of civil lawsuits filed against the state of Michigan for creating the Flint water crisis. Civil litigation continues against engineering firms and the federal government for their alleged roles in the crisis.
“This $600 million settlement is the beginning of justice for Flint residents, but it is not the end,” Neeley said. “The other defendants still need to step up and do what is right on behalf of Flint families.”
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