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Judge Won’t Transfer| Infant Formula Lawsuit

(CN) - A family's complaint that powdered infant formula was contaminated with bacteria will go to trial in Minnesota, a federal judge ruled.

Defendants Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Mead & Johnson asked to transfer the case to Louisiana. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim refused.

For the first 30 days of his life, the Burks' infant son Evan ate formula allegedly contaminated with Enterobacter sakazakii bacteria. The Burks say it caused their son's neonatal meningitis and subsequent brain damage.

The family lives in Louisiana, but sued in Minnesota.

The defendants claimed the Louisiana courts were a better forum for the complaint, which will require much investigation, research and testimony. Baby Evan's injuries occurred in Louisiana, as did his hospitalization.

The defendants said Louisiana would be more convenient for all, including witnesses; would cost less.

But Judge Tunheim found that the District of Minnesota is "very capable" of applying Louisiana or Minnesota law and rejected the defendants' arguments, saying that transfer would not "greatly increase access to sources of proof."

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