Judge Agrees to Delay 3M Trial after Recent Report

February 19, 2018 11:18 AM

A judge has agreed with 3M to delay a trial over groundwater contamination caused by the company's dumping of chemicals in the east metro.

Jury selection is expected to begin Feb. 20.


Hennepin County Judge Kevin Burke agreed to a one-week delay, allowing 3M's attorneys to have more time to review a study released this week by the Minnesota Department of Health.

RELATED: 3M Seeks Delay in Start of Trial in Light of Department of Health Report

MDH said its researchers could find no link between the groundwater contamination and health affects among people living in the east metro.

The report is consistent with similar studies the MDH released in 2007 and 2015. But it conflicts with a study prepared by an expert witness hired by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who is suing 3M over the contaminated water.

With weeks already set aside on the schedule for this trial, Burke decided only to move the trial back one week. He briefly thought about delaying the trial for another year, but ultimately ruled it was time to move forward.

"When this is over, I want to feel that I have done the best I could for both parties in this case," Burke said.

RELATED: MDH Finds No Link Between 3M and Cancer, Premature Birth Rates in East Metro

He also threw out eight witnesses who were prepared to share their own stories regarding cancer and birth defects, saying there's no way to fully prove exactly how each individual became ill.

The court battle between the state and 3M has gone on for seven years.




Katherine Johnson and Associated Press

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