A federal judge has approved a landmark $626 million settlement for residents of Flint, Michigan, who were poisoned by lead in their drinking water. In 2014, Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by then-Governor Rick Snyder, switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. The move was linked to at least 12 deaths and widespread lead poisoning in residents, including children, in the majority-Black city. The settlement makes money available to all of Flint’s children, as well as adults who can show an injury, some business owners and anyone who paid for polluted water. Plaintiffs’ attorney Trachelle Young hailed the settlement.
Trachelle Young: “Today is a day where there is actual accountability for the Flint residents. … This is really a result because we, as a community, stood up. We, as community activists; we, as pastors and ministers of justice; we, as residents, as concerned citizens; we, as parents — we came together and said that we are not going to sit here and allow them to treat us as if we don’t matter.”