BOSTON, MA (FEBRUARY 1, 2024) – Veolia North America (VNA) has reached a $25 million settlement agreement with members of the Flint Water Litigation class, represented by Co-Lead Counsel Mr. Ted Leopold and Mr. Michael Pitt. The agreement also includes payment of $1,500 per individual minor claimant represented by class counsel, for a total not to exceed $1.5 million. It is estimated that this agreement will resolve claims on behalf of more than 45,000 claimants – more than half of the Flint population. The class trial, which was set to begin on February 13, will be suspended pending final approval of the settlement agreement. VNA welcomes this opportunity to put the class litigation behind it.
VNA stands by its work in Flint. The City hired VNA as a consultant 10 months after the switch to the Flint River water to conduct a one-week assessment. VNA made good recommendations, including a crucial one on corrosion control, that would have helped the City had those recommendations not been almost entirely ignored by the responsible government officials. VNA had no power over these decisions. VNA never operated the Flint Water Plant.
This settlement follows an August 2022 mistrial in which a group of individual plaintiffs, represented by Mr. Corey Stern, failed to prove VNA’s liability before a jury of Michigan residents. In this 2022 trial, Mr. Stern unsuccessfully attempted to convince a jury of baseless allegations about VNA’s work in Flint. As the facts clearly showed, the water crisis was a failure of government, from Governor Snyder to the bureaucrats on the ground.
The class settlement does not resolve claims against VNA brought by certain individual plaintiffs. Despite his failures in court, Mr. Stern is pushing forward additional unnecessary litigation against VNA. VNA will continue to fight the false allegations that Mr. Stern is spreading both in court and in the media.
A VNA spokesperson said: “After individual plaintiffs failed to prove any liability of VNA in the 2022 trial, we welcome the opportunity of moving forward with this settlement. We have been extremely clear since the beginning of the Flint litigation: VNA did nothing wrong in Flint. We stand by the work our people did in Flint. As the facts of the 2022 trial clearly demonstrate, the Flint water crisis was caused by government officials. The people of Flint and all who were affected deserve justice. It is a disgrace that nearly a decade since the crisis was set in motion, still no person who was actually responsible has been held accountable.”
The class plaintiffs concerned by this settlement are members of the VNA Settlement Class and Subclasses, to be defined under the terms of a final settlement agreement to be executed by VNA and attorneys for the class, subject to court approval.