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Judge grants preliminary approval for $640M Flint water crisis settlement

Judge grants preliminary approval for $640M Flint water crisis settlement
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A federal judge in Michigan on Thursday granted preliminary approval for a $641 million settlement in the Flint water crisis. 

Affected residents will now have to decide whether they want to participate in the settlement before a final approval is given. 

Almost 80 percent of the funds are expected to go to the city’s children, with the majority targeted for those who were younger than 6 when they were first exposed since they are at the highest risk for lead poisoning. 

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Nearly 20 percent will go to the city’s adult population. 

Some Flint residents, however, have told local news outlets they don’t believe the compensation is sufficient, particularly for adults. 

Those who participate in the settlement will have to end their litigation against defendants including the state and city. 

The judge in her decision on Thursday stated that if those impacted by the crisis choose to participate in the settlement, they can object to certain aspects of it. 

Judge Judith Levy acknowledged that some have raised issues with the settlement, but warned that opponents will have to “decide whether the risks of litigation—and there are many—outweigh the benefit of a certain resolution with the Settling Defendants.”

In 2014, Michigan allowed the city of Flint to get its water from the Flint River, which ultimately resulted in tainted water flowing to people's taps. 

In addition to lead contamination, the decision has been linked to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that killed 12 people.

Separately, a number of individuals, including former Gov. Rick Snyder (R), were charged with crimes over the incident.