Judge lets Flint residents’ lawsuit against state move ahead

Potentially lead-tainted water flows from a kitchen sink tap in Flint in January 2016.
Potentially lead-tainted water flows from a kitchen sink tap in Flint in January 2016.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge has ruled in favor of Flint residents who sued the state over the city’s man-made lead-tainted water crisis, rejecting a motion to dismiss the lawsuit entirely.

In an order made public Thursday, Court of Claims Judge Mark Boonstra said the plaintiffs can proceed on two counts: injury to bodily integrity; and inverse condemnation, which lets people seek compensation for property damage and reduced home values. He tossed two others counts.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of the Flint water crisis

Boonstra says the residents’ allegations of mismanagement and a cover-up “shock the conscience” and represent a constitutional violation. He rejected a contention that state-appointed emergency managers didn’t act as state officials in Flint.

Boonstra says the state alone would be accountable for any damages because Gov. Rick Snyder and the managers were sued in their official capacity.