Flint water settlement objectors say $641 million is ‘not good for Flint’

As 13 objectors shared their concerns with the judge, a group of their supporters held a rally outside the courthouse
The Flint water system is the focus of a settlement that will be announced this week, sources...
The Flint water system is the focus of a settlement that will be announced this week, sources say.
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/13/2021) - People objecting to the proposed Flint Water Civil Settlement spoke one-on-one with the federal judge Tuesday.

It’s day 2 of 3 in the process of pushing the judge to approve the settlement agreement.

Monday, ABC12 shared with you the attorneys’ and a local family’s reasons for wanting to move it forward.

On Tuesday, multiple people held a watch party on the Genesee County Courthouse lawn to show their support for the 13 objectors inside. Then, they held a rally to voice one of their biggest frustrations -- how much money the attorneys are asking to be paid for their work.

“This is not good for Flint, this is not good for Michigan,” said Robert Jones, President of Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch.

The group is fighting what they’re calling an “outrageous money grab” by the attorneys involved in the Flint Water Civil Settlement.

“They took this case, knowing that there was a very good opportunity and a likelihood for them to get a big payout in the end,” Jones added.

Right now, $202 million, or close to a third of the total pot, is the proposed amount of money for the plaintiffs attorneys.

These are the attorneys who haven’t been paid a cent over the last 5 years as they’ve worked to get Flint residents money from the people accused of poisoning them.

A source tells ABC12 about 82-percent of that $202 million will essentially be paid by the residents who hired these attorneys and agreed to pay them for their work. The remaining dollars will cover class fees.

“I said this is just out and out unjust, unfair and inadequate,” Dr. Karen Weaver said.

Flint’s former Mayor, who served during the water crisis, said the opposite of the attorneys about this final draft.

She opted into the settlement, so she could speak to the Judge and voice her objection Tuesday.

“You know, this seems like such a done deal; but whether it is or not, I think it’s important to be on the right side and be on the record,” Weaver explained.

The hearing continues Thursday with the judge listening to specific concerns over the attorney fees.

It’s not clear when exactly the judge will make her decision on that or final approval of the settlement.

Attorneys say 50,614 people registered for a share of the settlement as of May 27.

The proposed $641.2 million fund includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, $20 million from the city of Flint’s insurers, $20 million from McLaren Flint Hospital and $1.2 million from Rowe Professional Services.

Anyone exposed to Flint’s contaminated water from April 25, 2014, to Nov. 16, 2020, is eligible for a share of the fund. All residents and businesses can file a claim, but the highest payment amounts will go toward young children who drank lead-tainted water.

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