A federal appeals court decided on Friday that Flint residents who were exposed to contaminated water can take legal action against the state of Michigan and local officials, reports ABC News.
In a unanimous 3-0 decision, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to overrule a judge who dismissed the cases of two residents that sued over the tainted water, the outlet writes. The two lawsuits will go back to U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara in Ann Arbor. They are just two of several cases filed in local and federal courts related to the water crisis.
Melissa Mays, a Detroit activist, told the Detroit Free Press that the court’s decision is a major step towards justice for Flint residents who were plagued by the contaminated water. According to the outlet Royal Oak attorney Michael Pitt, who represents residents in the community, echoed her sentiments.
“It’s really a very important decision,” he told the outlet. “It’s a good day for the people of Flint.”
ABC News reports that many of the residents want to be compensated for the state’s failure to properly treat the water for corrosion.
The state of Michigan has racked up millions in legal fees in relation to the water crisis. Nearly $14 million of the state’s funds has been allocated towards acquiring lawyers.