MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Water Gremlin says it shouldn’t have to clean its employees’ homes. That comes after workers at the manufacturing plant unknowingly brought lead home, poisoning some kids.

It’s an issue that was argued Wednesday morning at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

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Here’s how it got to this point. Lead made it into the cars of Water Gremlin employees and home to some of their kids. Children’s health is being addressed. Cars are being cleaned. The state says the company should also have to test and clean workers homes for lead. But Water Gremlin argues it isn’t legally required to and would be cost prohibitive.

And that’s how it ended up in the court of appeals with three judges hearing arguments. Wednesday morning an attorney for Water Gremlin said it’s working on reducing lead on its White Bear Township property, but that’s where the requirement ends.

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The attorney for the Departments of Health and Labor and Industry strongly disagreed saying Water Gremlin caused the lead migration and must be held accountable for the full clean-up.

The judges have 90 days to make a decision.

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This hearing was expedited. It’s been four months since Water Gremlin was temporarily shut down and the lead remediation began. Until a decision is made, cleaning homes is on hold.

Jennifer Mayerle