Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear appeals from city officials in Flint, Mich., seeking to have a case related to the water crisis dismissed.
Shari Guertin brought the case against the city of Flint and state officials in 2016, claiming her child was harmed by drinking lead-contaminated water after the city switched water sources from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Flint residents have reported cases ranging from hair loss, lead poisoning, Legionnaire's disease and skin rashes from the water.
A federal district court dismissed state officials from the lawsuit but allowed the case against the city. A three-judge panel on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed her lawsuit to move forward.
City officials wanted to block lawsuits claiming rights to "bodily integrity" were violated in the crisis. City attorneys told the Supreme Court allowing the suits to move forward would allow due process rights to "be radically expanded to encompass judicially created environmental policy."
The city of Flint; former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose; and Howard Croft, the former director of Flint's public works department, are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Last June, Michigan state prosecutors dropped all criminal cases connected with the Flint water crisis to give the attorney general's office more time to investigate. State officials said new evidence was found in the investigation.