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Court says Flint residents can sue Michigan over bad water

A federal appeals court says Flint residents who used lead-contaminated water can pursue constitutional claims against Michigan and city officials. (File photo)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A federal appeals court says Flint residents who used lead-contaminated water can pursue constitutional claims against Michigan and city officials.

In a 3-0 decision, the court overturned decisions by a federal judge who said the claims weren't allowed under water law. The court said Friday it's not judging the merits of the lawsuits, but it's allowing residents to get inside the courthouse door.

It's one of many lawsuits over the disastrous decision to use water from the Flint River without treating it for corrosion in 2014-15. The water caused lead to leach from pipes, contaminating Flint's water supply. Residents are seeking compensation for "state-created danger."

Separately, Michigan has agreed to spend as much as $97 million in state and federal money to replace water lines at 18,000 homes.

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