The USA. Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for a case brought by victims of stone, Mich., the water crisis has progressed, rejecting an appeal by city officials who claimed they were protected under "qualified immunity" from being prosecuted after at least 12 people died and many others became ill when the city moved. water supply in 2014.
Approximately 25,000 people were prosecuted as part of collective lawsuits aimed at holding city officials responsible for their decision to move drinking water supplies from Lake Huron to the River Flint in 2014. Residents suffered hair loss, skin rashes and poisoning from lead. An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease it also killed 12 people and led to dozens more being hospitalized.
"It's time for the people of Flint to start feeling like they are going to have their day in court," Michael Pitt, co-leader of the class action lawsuit, told Michigan Radio. "It just brings the whole process closer to that process. Day."
On Tuesday, the judges agreed to a decision by the lower court that ruled the city of Flint, the former emergency managers of Flint Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose and the former director of the Flint public works department, Howard Croft, they were not immune to prosecution.
In 2016, Shari Guertin, a Flint resident whose son drank lead-contaminated water, filed a lawsuit that included thousands of other plaintiffs who claim they were denied the right to "bodily integrity" The hill reported.
A district judge in 2018 filed her claims against state officials, including former governor Rick Snyder, but allowed the action to continue against city officials charged with ensuring that Flint's drinking water met federal standards under the Drinking Water Act.
In April last year, the same judge, US District Judge Judith Levy, reinserted Snyder in the case, writing in a new opinion that the former Michigan governor "was indifferent because, instead of mitigating the risk of damage done Contaminated water, he covered it.
“In particular, he was concerned about the need to return Flint to [Detroit’s water system] and the political implications of the crisis. But in public, he denied all knowledge, despite being aware of the developing crisis. As a result, the plaintiffs were attracted to a false sense of security, "he wrote, according to Michigan Radio.
The city of Flint changed the water source in 2014 without properly treating the corrosion of old pipes, which caused lead and bacteria to enter the drinking water supply, NPR reported. Even after residents took to the streets in protest, complaining of fetid water coming out of their pipes, city and state officials maintained that the water was safe to drink. Authorities did not admit until 18 months after the water did not adhere to federal standards. They then switched supplies back to the Detroit system.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.