US Supreme Court gives go ahead to Flint water lawsuits
By Agence France-Presse
The US Supreme Court on Monday gave the go ahead to two class-action lawsuits filed by residents of Flint, Michigan in response to a lead-contaminated water crisis.
Residents of the decaying industrial city, where over 100,000 people were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water, are pursuing civil rights claims against city and state officials.
The justices refused to review a July 2017 Ohio appeals court ruling that revived the lawsuits after they were dismissed by a lower court.
The high court also rejected arguments put forward against the suits by the city of Flint, Genesee County and environment officials in Michigan.
Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis is one of the worst health scandals in recent years in the US — sparked by the authorities’ decision to change the source of the city’s water supply in 2014 to cut costs.
The acidic and polluted water of the local river, chosen over the pure water of nearby Lake Michigan, corroded the water network’s pipes, exposing residents to lead poisoning.
More than 8,000 children are believed to have consumed lead-contaminated water, and a study found that the proportion of infants and children with high lead levels doubled after the water source switch.