The family of missing West Valley woman Susan Cox Powell won an appeal from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which now allows them to continue in a lawsuit over the death of her children.

According to FOX 13, the ruling Thursday afternoon reversed a lower court ruling that denied Judy and Chuck Cox the chance to sue Washington State Department of Social and Health Services over the 2012 deaths of Susan’s children, Charlie and Braden Powell.

“Material issues of fact exist regarding whether DSHS used reasonable care to avoid placing the boys in harm’s way,” wrote Judge Leslie Kobayashi.

Susan Cox Powell went missing from her home in 2009 and has never been found. Her husband, Joshua Powell, later moved to Washington, where he killed his sons using a hatchet and then himself by blowing up the house. Joshua was long considered a suspect in Susan’s disappearance. The sons were in state protective custody while police investigated Josh’s father, Steven, for voyeurism. Steven was convicted and died in prison in July 2018.

Judy and Chuck Cox are suing Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, claiming the agency should have done more to prevent the deaths of the two boys.

Cox family attorney Anne Bremner told FOX 13 the family was happy with the ruling.

“We are very pleased that we’re going to have a day in court for Charlie and Braden and for Chuck and Judy,” she said. “I think a trial is something we would look forward into in terms of achieving justice.”

See more at FOX 13

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.