DETROIT (AP) — A judge has granted preliminary approval to a $641 million deal that would benefit Flint residents who were harmed by lead-contaminated water.
The settlement includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, although Flint, an area hospital and an engineering firm are also part of the agreement.
Federal Judge Judith Levy signed off in a 72-page opinion. Her preliminary approval triggers a monthslong process during which Flint residents can object and pursue their own claims.
State regulators allowed Flint to use the Flint River in 2014-15 without treating the water to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead in old pipes broke off and flowed through taps. Experts have also blamed the water for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which led to at least 12 deaths.