Burton mayor wants residents affected by the Flint water crisis to know they may qualify for settlement money

BURTON — With the recent $600 million preliminary settlement in the Flint Water crisis reached, officials want the nearly 100 Burton residents affected by the crisis to know they may be eligible to receive some of these funds.

Burton Mayor Duane Haskins said a few years ago the city was able to get Flint to sign a release and allow the City of Burton to get its residents off the Flint water system. Burton installed new infrastructure to get those residents on Burton water.

“I am concerned that our residents might not be aware that they qualify for these funds if they meet any of the criteria,” said Haskins.

The area of Burton in question are approximately 100 homes in the Elmwood Garden area, primarily Cheyenne and Menominee streets and Hemphill Road.

Work was done in the summer of 2017 to add these homes to the Burton water system, taking them off Flint water.

The settlement establishes a court-monitored victims compensation fund providing hundreds of millions of dollars in direct payments to Flint residents, nearly 80 percent of which will go to those who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crisis.

Flint residents, including minors, adults, property owners, and businesses, are eligible to make claims from the compensation fund for personal injuries, and property and business damages. The claims process and compensation awards will be based on categories of injury.

The settlement also considers community needs. For example, a dedicated fund will be created to provide special education programming for students who suffer long term health and behavioral impacts from lead poisoning.

All Flint residents (and those households affected in Burton) harmed by the water crisis will have an opportunity to submit a claim for relief under the Agreement.

Residents are encouraged to visit flintwaterjustice.com or call 866-536-0717 for information.

“The residents of Flint were victims of horrendous decisions by the State, its employees, and other defendants that have resulted in tragic and devastating consequences. This public health disaster was the product of a complete disregard for the health and well-being of ordinary citizens. While we can never undo the damage that occurred to the citizens and community of Flint, we are pleased that today we were able to secure a measure of justice for the proposed class and the Flint community, and will continue to seek justice against the remaining defendants,” said Ted Leopold, court-appointed interim co-lead counsel and Partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

In 2014, the City of Flint switched its water supply to draw from the highly contaminated Flint River. What followed was all of Flint’s residents, along with the 100 or so Burton residents, were exposed to lead poisoning and corrosive water, including more than 10,000 minor children.

Research from the settlement website shows children are highly susceptible to permanent, long-term health consequences from lead poisoning. Additionally, more than 30,000 of the City’s housing units lost significant value, and require substantial remediation expense, because of corroded, unsafe pipes, fixtures and appliances.

Details: Visit www.pittlawpc.com/classactions/flint-water.html