When 3M reported its first quarter results in May, the company chose not to record any liability related to a lawsuit initiated by the former owners of Acolyte Biomedica, Ltd. The company reasoned at the time that "liability is not probable." That hasn't stopped both sides from taking their case to the public as the trial related to an unmet earnout kicked off earlier this week.

3M acquired Acolyte in February of 2007 for £10. 4 million, gaining control of the MRSA-screening technology sold under the BacLite brand name. An earnout clause was included in the agreement that could have been worth as much as £41 million had the sales of BacLite hit certain milestones by 2009. However, 3M shelved efforts to gain FDA approval less than a year after the deal, citing that it discontinued its efforts only after the technology "failed to meet certain standards of the marketplace."

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