Michigan House taking a stand against attorneys’ request for Flint water funds

Lawmakers are mulling a resolution against the $202 million compensation request from plaintiff attorneys
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The Michigan House is considering a resolution against attorneys’ request for nearly one-third of the $641.2 million Flint water settlement fund.

Republican State Rep. David Martin of Davison introduced a resolution Thursday that would state the Legislature’s opinion that the $202 million request from attorneys representing Flint residents is too high. The resolution is not binding as a law and only states lawmakers’ opinion.

If approved, the measure would be sent to U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy, who is overseeing the Flint water crisis settlement and will decide how much compensation plaintiff’s attorneys are entitled to receive.

“First and foremost, money from this settlement should go to Flint children and families who have had their lives forever changed by the decisions made during this crisis – not the out-of-state attorneys who capitalized on this tragic situation,” Martin said. “The state must take action to ensure such a disproportionate amount of funds are not awarded to attorneys over residents.”

All state representatives whose districts include Genesee County are co-sponsoring House Resolution 56, which has been referred to the House Government Operations Committee.

Levy has granted preliminary approval of the $641.2 million Flint water settlement and the parameters for how the money would be distributed. Young children who suffered lead poisoning during the Flint water crisis would be entitled to most of the money, while lesser amounts would be set aside for adults and businesses.

Flint residents who drank lead-tainted water during the water crisis have to register by March 29 to receive a share of the settlement. They will be required to provide proof of their claims before money is disbursed sometime later this year.

A court-appointed master will manage the claims process and doling out settlement funds.

The settlement currently includes $600 million from Michigan state government, $20 million from the city of Flint’s insurance, $20 million from McLaren Flint Hospital and $1.2 million from Rowe Professional Services. The fund could grow if more companies and agencies accused of wrongdoing join the settlement.

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