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Flint settlement claims process taking longer than expected, applicants shouldn't worry

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Artwork along the Flint River (file photo).

An official overseeing the review of Flint water settlement claims says the process will likely take a few more months.

Deborah Greenspan serves as the settlement’s special master. She told a federal judge during a status conference Wednesday that the process of reviewing and processing all the documents submitted is taking longer than expected.

She said letters are being sent to assure people they shouldn’t be concerned that they haven’t heard anything yet from the claims administrator.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy said she understands the process is “frustrating” for people seeking damages. The judge added distributing settlement money remains on hold also because a federal appeals court has yet to rule on a pair of legal challenges to the settlement.

The $626 million fund is intended to settle claims against the state of Michigan, city of Flint, McLaren Flint Hospital, and Rowe Professional Services. The agreement doesn’t settle all claims related to the Flint water crisis.

Tens of thousands of claims were filed with the federal court by June 30.

The claims range from personal property damage to physical injury to young children. Plaintiffs who were children at the time of the Flint water crisis, who can successfully claim potentially damaging exposure to lead and other contaminants in the city’s drinking water will qualify for nearly 80% of the fund.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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