veola $25M Flint Water Crisis Settlement

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veola $25M Flint Water Crisis Settlement

In a dramatic turn of events, residents of Flint, Michigan, and the final engineering defendant embroiled in the extensive litigation concerning the city’s water crisis have announced a groundbreaking settlement valued at $25 million. The agreement, unveiled Thursday, comes as a pivotal move to sidestep an imminent trial, injecting a surge of relief into a community long plagued by uncertainty.

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veola $25M Flint Water Crisis Settlement : A Collective Respite

Veolia North America, alongside a class comprising 45,000 Flint property owners, businesses, and adults, disclosed the monumental settlement independently on Thursday morning. This pivotal accord materialized mere days before the commencement of a trial slated for Ann Arbor, infusing an aura of suspense and anticipation into the legal arena.

Marking a Milestone

This latest resolution with Veolia catapults the cumulative settlements negotiated on behalf of Flint plaintiffs to a staggering sum exceeding $655 million, affirmed class attorneys. Notably, this class action saga unfolded against a backdrop of previous triumphs, notably a groundbreaking $625 million settlement against the state of Michigan in 2021. Moreover, the class had earlier clinched a significant agreement with private engineering firm Lockwood Andrews & Newnam, securing an $8 million settlement in October.

veola $25M Flint Water Crisis Settlement : Allegations Unveiled

The crux of the class action’s contentions, dating back to 2016, revolves around Veolia’s purported failure to identify corroding pipes and to sound the alarm bells to government authorities, thereby exacerbating the already dire water crisis. Claimants argued that had Veolia proactively recommended remedial measures, the trajectory of contamination might have been curtailed significantly.

Veolia’s Defense

In a compelling defense, Veolia has consistently shifted blame onto state and local government entities, staunchly asserting its role as a consultant initiated months subsequent to the city’s transition to Flint River water. According to Veolia, it had proffered recommendations to municipal authorities, only to witness them go unheeded, a testimony to the systemic dysfunction overshadowing the crisis.

Terms of Reconciliation

Integral to the settlement framework is the provision for compensation amounting to $1,500 per individual minor claimant represented by class counsel, capped at $1.5 million, divulged Veolia. However, it’s crucial to underscore that this resolution doesn’t entail the resolution of claims against Veolia by individual plaintiffs, the firm underscored.