Nessel ‘intends to be as aggressive as possible’ in 3M lawsuit

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 19:32:33-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says the state will pursue legal action against 3M for its role in contaminating water with PFAS.

The Minnesota-based manufacturer began making the chemical in the 1950s before stopping production in 2002. PFAS was used in Scotchgard, fire retardants, nonstick cookware and other products.

PFAS has been linked to several health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues and weakened immune systems.

On Thursday, Nessel said her office is going to pursue legal action against 3M and are coordinating proposals to work with law firms that have expertise in the area.

“We intend to be as aggressive as possible,” she said.

In 2018, former Gov. Rick Snyder sent a letter to then-Attorney General Bill Schuette to sue 3M, saying the company was aware of the threats their products posed to public health. Despite that knowledge, 3M continued to sell the products containing PFAS without disclosing the threat it posed to the general public, he said.

3M has already agreed to pay Minnesota $850 million to settle a lawsuit and $35 million in another drinking water contamination settlement.

PFAS sites continue to pop up across the country and in Michigan, which a recent study determined accounts for 31% of all contamination sites in the United States.