News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Flint water crisis settlement claims may soon reach a milestone

 Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Public
Flint, Michigan (file photo)

There is some good news for thousands of Flint residents waiting for a share of a more than $600 million Flint water crisis legal settlement.

The process of determining who deserves a share of the settlement has dragged on for years. But the Special Master appointed by a federal judge to oversee the initial processing of more than 40,000 claims says the process is nearing an end.

The Compensation Schedule includes 21 different categories for children and 9 categories for adults. The bulk of the settlement funds are earmarked for those who were minors at the time of the water crisis.

16,600 claims were filed on behalf of children, who were minors in the early days of the water crisis. 28,700 claims were filed by adults.

The review process has been bogged down by the shear size of the paperwork the claims administrator has had to go through:

• 2.6 million water customer billing records

• 77,000 school enrollment records

• 40,000 blood lead testing records

• 28,000 service line records

• 8,300 requests for birth certificate records

• 2,800 claims sent to the process for verification of property ownership

It’s up to the “claims review” team to determine whether a claimant has documented exposure to Flint water during the relevant time period. The team must also determine whether a claimant has documented any qualified injury or can show ownership or lease (or obligation for water bills) for any eligible Flint property, and whether the claimant can show a business loss .

Deborah Greenspan was appointed by a federal judge appointed to oversee the claims process.

 In a court filing this week, Greenspan wrote the initial review process should be completed by the end of June. Though she adds the entire process will not be complete until all reconsideration requests and appeals are reviewed.

“The review process is careful and considered to ensure that the settlement is responsibly implemented,” wrote Greenspan. “That means that every claim must be given careful and accurate consideration so that those who are eligible are not denied compensation because of error or technical deficiencies.”

One plaintiffs’ attorney recently expressed optimism that checks may still go out to successful claimants by the end of the year.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005.
Related Content