24 Feb, 2024
1 min read

US appeals court upholds attorney fees ruling in Flint water crisis settlement case – JURIST

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Friday upheld a decision by a lower court over attorney fees in the Flint water crisis $600 million partial settlement.

The lower court previously approved the settlement and awarded attorney fees to the attorneys representing the class action participants. Although the settlement was “record-breaking” at $600 million, many Flint residents were disappointed in the total amount they are entitled to. They argued that the attorneys should receive a lesser amount of compensation.

The court rejected the residents’ arguments who suggested to lower the amount awarded to attorneys under the settlement (about 25 percent). The residents requested a more detailed billing record of the attorney fees in a water-cases-11/”2021 appeals and the court denied this based on the plaintiffs’ “lack of standing to appeal the district court’s attorney’s fee award”—which the Sixth Circuit sided with.

However, the review claims process is still ongoing in Flint and at least $400 million will go to the victims of the water crisis who were especially vulnerable to the lead contamination.

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and four other officials were previously required to testify about the water crisis, and Michigan’s attorney general brought charges of criminal neglect against Snyder for his role in the water crisis.

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Here’s what flood insurance covers and what it doesn’t

Most basic home policies do not cover floods, almost all car policies do.

FLORISSANT, Mo. — The only thing worse than dealing with water in your basement is figuring out how to pay for it.

Historic rainfall and flash flooding caused flooded basements, sewer back-ups and broken windows across the St. Louis area. Many people purchased flood insurance packages.

“I always say if you can see or hear water near your house, might not be a bad idea to get flood insurance…even if you are not in a flood plain,” St. Louis-based State Farm Insurance agent Brennen Sowa said.

Walking into his office Tuesday morning, Sowa and his team were hit with an onslaught of voicemails and calls from customers with water damage. On flood calls, he hopes the homeowner on the other end of the line has a certain type of coverage.

“Back up of sewers and drains is what we call it,” Sowa explains, “some companies call it something different, like sump pump coverage. It’s really any time water is involved and our first thought is hopefully they have this coverage.”

Sewer and drain backup is an option, but not standard for home insurance. Many lower-level floods are covered by the sewer and drain add-on, but not all.

“It has to be a backup too,” Sowa said, “So lamentable in situations like this week some people aren’t covered under their homeowners insurance and there’s really nothing they could have done differently.”

Insurance agents like Sowa recommend checking your home regularly for signs of damage, especially around the foundation.

If your home has flooded before, that does not disqualify you from flood insurance. Flood insurance is available to everyone, even if a home is located on a flood plain.

Floodwaters don’t only hit homes, often times

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