WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Flint Water Settlement: Important Update for Flint Families
February 1, 2024 Settlement Update
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FLINT PROPERTY OWNERS REACH CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT WITH
WATER ENGINEERING FIRM VEOLIA NORTH AMERICA
The settlement ends the last class action case against the
remaining water engineering firms accused of negligence
contributing to the Flint Water Crisis.
FLINT, MI – On February 1, 2024, Flint Michigan property owners, businesses, and adults, reached a $25 million settlement with Veolia North America (VNA), the last private engineering firm Flint residents were seeking to hold accountable for its role in the devastating Flint water crisis.
This settlement brings the total amount of the settlements reached on behalf of plaintiffs in the Flint Water Crisis cases to over $655 million. The case, a certified environmental water contamination class action, was scheduled to go to jury trial on February 13, 2024. The plaintiffs are represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Susman Godfrey, and Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers.
The class action case was filed in 2016 against VNA and other defendants on behalf of more than 90,000 residents. The class action, which resulted in a landmark $626.25 million settlement against the State of Michigan in 2021, was officially certified against VNA and a second private water engineering company, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN), in August 2021. LAN settled with residents last October.
The certified class action maintained that VNA failed to identify corroding pipes, exacerbating the Flint water crisis, and allowed the water contamination to last much longer than it should have, had Veolia recommended the correct remediation, including adding a corrosive chemical to the water supply.
After negotiating the class settlement, the parties also were able to resolve the claims brought by minor claimants represented by class counsel. Under that settlement, those minor claimants will receive an additional payment on top of the amounts they will receive under the existing settlements.
“I’m inspired by the resiliency and courage the families and residents of Flint have shown in their effort to secure justice, and I believe this settlement is an important step forward to bringing a close to the horrible years of nightmares for the Flint community,” said Ted Leopold, court-appointed co-lead class counsel and co-lead trial counsel and partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “Our fight for justice continues as we look to hold the EPA, the final bad actor in this long and difficult saga, accountable.
“This settlement is long overdue. I’m glad to mark this final case against Veolia and bring another chapter of this terrible story to a close. Our work continues in the fight for justice for the Flint community,” said Steve Morrissey, a partner at Susman Godfrey and co-lead trial counsel and court-appointed Executive Committee member.
Michael Pitt, court-appointed interim co-lead counsel and partner at Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers, P.C. added, “From the beginning, our efforts were focused on centering the Flint community and ensuring that the outcome was fair and equitable for these amazing people who have suffered greatly over the past few years. We’re glad to see this settlement reflecting our efforts and goal of setting this community up to move forward and rebuild.”
In 2014, the City of Flint hired Veolia to advise on the City’s decision to switch its water supply from the highly contaminated Flint River. Despite Flint residents raising concerns about the water’s smell, color, and taste, and even after a deadly Legionnaires disease outbreak, Veolia allegedly failed to give appropriate recommendations to the City. Veolia’s alleged professional negligence led to years of delay in stopping the water contamination to which Flint residents were exposed.
About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a premier U.S. plaintiffs’ law firm, with over 100 attorneys across eight offices, champions the causes of real people – workers, consumers, small business owners, investors, and whistleblowers – working to deliver corporate reforms and fair markets for the common good. For more information visit https://www.cohenmilstein.com
About Susman Godfrey
Susman Godfrey is a nationwide law firm of 150 trial lawyers. It handles high-stakes litigation in a broad range of practice areas and industries, for both plaintiffs and defendants. Susman’s attorneys are creative in finding the fee arrangement—contingent, flat, hourly, or hybrid—that best suits a client’s case. With a relentless focus on winning at trial, Susman Godfrey has been ranked by Vault as the #1 litigation boutique in America for 12 consecutive years. Visit www.susmangodfrey.com to learn more about our unique approach to winning cases.
About Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers
Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers is one of the largest and most experienced employment and civil rights law firms in Michigan. Our attorneys have successfully supported clients, both individually and in groups, in litigation against companies charged with employment discrimination. In addition to our civil rights and employment discrimination representation, we also handle complex and difficult personal injury and criminal defense cases. For more information visit https://www.pittlawpc.com
Dec. 2023 Update
On November 15, 2023, the Court issued an Opinion and Order granting preliminary approval of a new class settlement with the LAN Defendants, which would add additional funds to the Settlement Fund. A copy of the Opinion can be found HERE.
If you already registered for the current settlement AND filed a claim form:
You do not need to do anything to participate in the new settlement.
You are automatically considered a claimant for this new LAN settlement.
Look for any notifications from the Claims Administrator that state you are missing documents or information from your claim.
If you did not register for the current settlement and did not file a claim form:
You may register for the new LAN settlement.
If you have questions about your claims status for either settlement, please contact the Flint Water Crisis Class Counsel Team, 866-536-0717.
Oct 2023 Update on Claims Process
The Claims Administrator is continuing to review Claims Packages, and Notices are being sent out on a weekly basis.
Please be on the lookout for Notices from the Claims Administrator via email and/or regular mail.
If you receive a Notice advising you of a deficiency or problem with your Claims Package, please contact us for assistance.
Failure to fix a problem with your Claims Package, may result in you not receiving any money under the Settlement.
If your contact information has changed since June 30, 2022
Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your current contact information, or call our hotline (866) 536-0717 to speak to an assistant.
Final Approval of Partial Settlement 2021
On November 10, 2021, US District Judge Levy issued final approval of the partial settlement for those impacted by the Flint Water Crisis.
A legal class was established; and class council was also finalized.
Read the court documents here.
What does this mean for you?
The Claims process will now proceed from January 12, 2022 to May 12, 2022. To learn more about the Claims process and the documentation needed to make a claim, please see Claims or make an appointment to speak to a representative at the Flint Office.
If you have questions, please call 866-536-0717 or visit the following webpages: