The Supreme Court declared on Tuesday that residents of Flint, Michigan — the town known for its lead-contaminated drinking water supply — may proceed with a lawsuit against municipal officials for allegedly covering up the contamination.
The crisis occurred after local authorities switched the town's water supply to the nearby Flint River in 2014. Authorities failed to apply anti-corrosion materials to the water, however, leading to significant quantities of lead leaching into the water supply. When the city switched back to the contaminated Huron River, an outbreak of bacteria was linked to a deadly spike in Legionnaires' disease in the area.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal from municipal authorities asking for the dismissal of the lawsuit. More than 25,000 people have reported being sickened by the lead-filled water from the city.