FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge says former Gov. Rick Snyder can be sued by residents in the Flint water scandal, reversing a decision from last summer.
Residents claim Snyder violated their right to bodily integrity by repeatedly doing nothing as Flint used corrosive water that released lead from old pipes. Judge Judith Levy says a right to bodily integrity is a “fundamental interest” protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Levy says members of Snyder’s administration had warned that switching Flint to the Flint River “could lead to a potential disaster.” The city was under state management in 2014 and 2015. Snyder’s Department of Environmental Quality failed to require corrosion control.
Levy, a federal judge in Ann Arbor, is overseeing lawsuits related to the water crisis. She released a 128-page opinion Monday.
Snyder left office in January. He has apologized for failures that created and prolonged the crisis.