Special judge appointed to hear Andrews lawsuit over town’s water

Local News

ANDREWS, Ind. (WANE) — A special judge has been appointed to oversee litigation over contaminated water in the Town of Andrews.

Adams Superior Court Judge Chad Kukelhan will hear the town’s lawsuit against Raytheon Technologies.

Back in June, the Huntington County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office told Andrews residents not to use the town’s water. A test revealed that the water contained contaminants above the Federal Safe Drinking Water Standards. The town was left without clean water for two weeks.

The town of Andrews and more than 75 residents have filed suit over the town’s drinking water, which they claim was ruined by chemicals from United Technologies and a local gas station. Federal court documents contend company employees have admitted to pouring powerful cleaning chemicals into the soil, down a drain, and into 55-gallon drums, which were allowed to rust outside.

Originally the case was scheduled in Huntington Superior Court but Raytheon filed a removal to Federal Court. Then in July, the case was moved from federal court to the Huntington Circuit Court before returning to Huntington Superior Court in mid-July.

The search for a special judge took nearly a month after several Huntington County judges as well as judges from Adams, Wabash, and Wells recused themselves from the case. Kukelhan was named last week.

Though the initial emergency motion for a preliminary injunction was filed a month ago by the Town of Andrews, both sides have yet to appear in court. According to court documents, the Town requested the court set its emergency motion for a hearing as soon as practicable.

A telephonic attorney conference is set to be held Aug. 19 at 10 a.m.

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