ST. PAUL  (AP) -- A Minnesota farmer who believes stray voltage killed hundreds of his cows and affected milk production can sue for damages in state court.

A Minnesota Supreme Court ruling Wednesday allows Greg Siewert and his father, Harlan, to proceed with their case against Xcel Energy.

The Siewerts, of Zumbro Falls, sued back in 2004 and were ready to go to trial. But Xcel Energy argued the issue should be heard by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission instead. The Supreme Court disagreed, and sent the case back to Wabasha County for possible trial.

Stray voltage is when electricity returns to the ground through an unintended conductor.

Greg Siewert says he expects to seek about $5 million in damages.

Xcel Energy says it cannot comment on ongoing litigation.

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