Wolverine files lawsuit against 3M for contaminating water

Posted at 6:42 AM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 07:33:09-05

ROCKFORD, Mich. -- Wolverine Worldwide has filed a lawsuit in federal court against 3M, the company that made and manufactured Scotchgard™, the substance which contains PFAS that has contaminated groundwater.

“3M made it, 3M sold it at a profit to thousands of companies and millions of consumers for decades, and 3M can no longer run from its responsibilities to Wolverine, the community, and the State of Michigan for the impacts of Scotchgard™,” Wolverine Worldwide CEO and Chairman Blake W. Krueger said.

The company says it purchased Scotchgard™ from 3M for decades to use it to make shoes repellent to water and stains.

Wolverine disposed of waste from its application process consistent with 3M’s recommendations and practices, and in compliance with the laws and industry standards existing at that time.

Wolverine is accusing 3M of knowing that the chemicals used to make Scotchgard™ posed environmental risks.

Wolverine also filed a notice in federal court urging the State of Michigan to add 3M as a defendant in the State’s existing lawsuit against Wolverine.

In doing so, Wolverine is asking the State to fulfill the request of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who earlier this year called for the State to sue 3M over products containing PFOA and PFOS, which were used for decades in commercial products like firefighting foams and metal plating, and in common consumer items like food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, Teflon™, carpets, and Scotchgard™.

After word broke that PFAS were showing up in water, the company paid to have 1,500 wells tested, offered bottled water and filters, and worked with the DEQ on a solution.

3M has not yet responded to the lawsuit.