Over 45,000 sign up for $641M Flint water settlement, but final tally not ready

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

About 45,400 people have registered to participate in a $641 million settlement to compensate individuals affected by the Flint water crisis, but it is not a final tally, according to a court filing released Wednesday.

Thousands of electronic and mailed registration forms are still being reviewed, although some of them appear to be redundant, case special master Deborah Greenspan said in the filing. The claims administrator expects to receive more registrations from Flint's roughly 95,000 residents with postmarks of March 29 or before.

The claims administrator "estimates that it will take at least a week to complete the review and additional time after that to determine the number of duplicative registrations," Greenspan said. 

People who have submitted a registration will be contacted by the claims administrator. 

People were eligible for the settlement if they lived in a home serviced by the Flint water treatment plant or owned a business serviced by the plant. 

Additionally, people who ingested water from the plant for at least 21 days during any 30-day period after April 25, 2014, were eligible. And individuals diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease who were exposed to water from the plant from April 25, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2018, were eligible. 

The city of Flint, while under state emergency management, switched its water from a Detroit-based system to the Flint River on April 25, 2014. 

The state of Michigan is paying the lion's share of the settlement, $600 million, but the city of Flint also will pay $20 million, McLaren Regional Medical Center $20 million and Rowe Professional Services $1.25 million. 

About 80% of the settlement will go to individuals who were minors at the time of exposure. Children will enter different tiers of compensation based on age of exposure and blood or bone lead tests. 

About 2% of the settlement will to special education in Genesee County and 18% will go to adults who had property damage as a result of the contamination. 

Attorneys for Flint residents in the case have asked for $202 million for attorney fees. A federal judge has yet to rule on the request but some residents and legal experts have criticized the amount as excessive.