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STRAY VOLTAGE AWARD UPHELD
Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 -- 8:09 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director


A state appeals court Tuesday upheld nearly $533,000 in damages to two Marathon County dairy farmers who claimed a power company's stray voltage hurt their cows' health and milk production.

Northern States Power Co. argued a jury's verdict should have been reversed because some of the verdict questions that a judge submitted to the jury before it began its deliberations were in error, but the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Wausau disagreed.

The Court ruled the judge properly worded one key verdict question on "comparative negligence", allowing the jury to consider whether the farmers' management of the herd contributed to any problems.

An Athens area farm sued NSP Ė now operating as XCEL Energy, after noticing physical and behavioral problems in their herd in 1991.

The farmís owners said they anticipate XCEL will appeal to the State Supreme Court.

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