On Tuesday, Flint water crisis victims scored a big win in their lawsuit against the city for water contamination that has plagued the city for years.
After the lawsuit was initially turned away by the high court in 2016, the Supreme Court has now changed its tune, rejecting an appeal from city officials who claimed that they were protected under “qualified immunity” from being sued by the citizens, according to Fox News. Twelve citizens have died, and many more fell ill when the city switched its water supply in 2014.
“It’s time for the people of Flint to start feeling like they are going to get their day in court. This just moves the entire process closer to that day.” Co-lead counsel on the class action suit, Attorney Michael Pitt, told Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody.
The suit includes thousands of Flint residents suing for damages from the 2014 contamination.
According to Fox News, the suit claims that officials, including Governor at the time, Rick Snyder, did not consider how exposure to high levels of lead and other contaminants could harm its residents before the city switched its drinking water source from draw to the Flint River in 2014. In addition, the city failed to properly treat pipes for corrosion before the transition, allowing lead and bacteria into the water supply. In 2016, the city eventually switched to using water from Lake Huron. However, by that time, the damage was already done.