3M settles lawsuit with $850 million

3M settles lawsuit with $850 million Click to Enlarge

3M vs the State of Minnesota trial was a lot shorter than a lot of experts predicted.

3M has agreed to give the state a grant of $850 million to settle a $5 billion lawsuit over claims that the company knowingly contaminated groundwater in the east metro for decades.

State Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a 4pm news conference today that the money in the settlement will be used to clean up contaminated water in communities contaminated with products like Teflon and Scotchgard that were dumped for years at four separate sites in Washington County. The agreement also calls for separate funds to pay for improved drinking water and sustainable natural resource projects.

A large portion of the settlement is also expected to go to the national law firm Swanson retained to represent the state. Jury selection was scheduled to begin earlier this afternoon until Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke announced there would be no trial.

The trial was originally expected to last anywhere between four to six weeks and garner a large national audience in the legal and environmental communities. 3M and its subsidiaries are also the subject of more than 30 other lawsuits around the country.

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