Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy has won a George Polk Journalism Award for a series he wrote on unfair settlement practices that he uncovered while reporting on the life of Freddie Gray.

During his research, McCoy found that Gray and other Baltimore lead poisoning victims had sold settlements for a fraction of their true value to financial companies. One victim sold rights valued at over $300,000 for less than $63,000. As a result of the series, Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh launched an investigation and state legislators imposed changes on how companies buy the rights to settlements.

“We were looking for a way into the Freddie Gray story and this was an angle that had not been mined,” McCoy told the Post.“There were a lot of records, and they showed the disparity between what people were selling and what they were getting…These people were victims and then they were re-victimized.”

Read McCoy’s story How Companies Make Millions Off Lead Poisoned, Poor Blacks by clicking, here.

Susan Gerardo Dunn is the founding editor and publisher of Baltimore Fishbowl.