Three police officers will be allowed to proceed with their suit against the city of Richfield for age discrimination after the state Court of Appeals ruled in their favor.

The appellate court Monday overturned a Hennepin County District Court decision in favor of the city, ordering a new look at "genuine issues of material fact."

Greg Peterson, Souphanny Dean and Brian Rogge sued the Richfield department in 2013, claiming that department officials had rigged the promotion system to favor younger personnel.

The officers — all older than 40 — were passed over for promotion to detective.

The veteran cops claim that Richfield gave prestigious assignments to younger officers with far less training and experience. They also allege that the department changed its personnel process to ensure that favored candidates would receive the highest scores in evaluations used in promotion decisions.

According to sworn affidavits from the veteran officers, members of the department's hiring examination panel said the Richfield police needed more "knuckle draggers" on the force.

The appeals court also ordered the district court to reconsider a claim by Peterson that he was retaliated against because he'd previously won a separate age discrimination judgment against the city.