McLaren will pay $5M, not $20M, in Flint water settlement

Michigan

FILE – In this March 21, 2016, file photo, the Flint Water Plant water tower is seen in Flint, Mich. Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Nick Lyon, former director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014-15, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A $641 million settlement with people affected by Flint’s lead-contaminated water was reduced by $15 million Wednesday after a judge agreed that a hospital could cut its pledge.

McLaren Health will pay $5 million instead of $20 million. It had the right to drop out completely if not enough claimants signed up for its share of the settlement.

Flint managers appointed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder and regulators in his administration allowed the city 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.

Separately, experts have blamed the river water for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which led to at least 12 deaths in the Flint area. They believe there wasn’t enough chlorine in the water to fight off bacteria.

Most people making claims against McLaren for Legionnaires’ now will have to pursue individual lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy has given preliminary approval to the overall settlement but not final approval. Lawyers are seeking $200 million from the pot of money for their work.

The state’s share of the deal is $600 million.

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