$626 Million Dollar Settlement Approved For Thousands Of Flint Residents

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Tens of thousands of Flint, Michigan residents will be receiving their share of a $626 million settlement after a federal judge approved it Wednesday (November 10).

US District Judge Judith Levy handed down the decision in a 178-page document which called the settlement a "remarkable achievement" because it creates a compensation program for anyone impacted by the contaminated water regardless if they were a part of the class action lawsuit or sued the state on their own.

For years, Flint residents have been plagued by tainted drinking water that led to serious health issues among the city's predominately Black population. The city switched its water system to save $5 million in 2014 which lead to a years-long legal battle for getting residents clean water and compensating them for the irreparable damage.

The settlement wouldn't have been possible "without the children and families of Flint relentlessly taking a stand against those who failed to keep them safe," Corey Stern, an attorney representing 4,000 children from the Flint area said.

"Flint families are finally going to get some justice," Stern added.

According to NBC News, 80% of the money will be set aside for minors as lead exposure at a young age can lead to learning differences and other long-term health concerns.

People eligible to receive the funds include those who have elevated levels of lead in their blood or bones, or those who have cognitive issues related to lead in water, the decision says.

Several state officials were charged for the water contamination including former Gov. Rick Snyder who pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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