Douglas & London, P.C. Reach Historic Multi-Billion Dollar Settlement with 3M Company for PFAS Contamination in America’s Drinking Water

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NEW YORK, June 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Douglas & London, P.C. is proud to announce that 3M has agreed to pay up to twelve billion five hundred million dollars ($12,500,000,000) to public water systems across the United States that have detected or are at risk for PFAS chemicals in their drinking water, in what is the largest drinking water settlement in American history.

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This proposed $12.5 billion dollar nationwide class settlement with 3M comes after months of negotiations spearheaded by firm partner Michael A. London and his co-lead interim Class Counsel in the AFFF multi-district litigation (MDL No. 2:18-mn-02873) consolidated before the Honorable Richard Gergel in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. It also follows on the heels of the postponement of the first public water system case that was scheduled for trial, set to begin June 5, 2023. Firm partner Gary J. Douglas was selected as the lead trial counsel in that monumental first case to be tried before it was adjourned on the morning of trial to allow this $12.5 billion dollar settlement to materialize. Douglas had this to say of the settlement: “PFAS has contaminated the entire planet, including our nation’s drinking water. As a result, it is found in the blood of virtually every American. Holding to account those responsible for this unprecedented environmental disaster was our goal. Having the offenders pay for the cost of the remediation and cleanup is just the beginning. Tens of millions of Americans will now be the beneficiaries of this historic multi-billion dollar settlement. Our fight for safe drinking water will continue until every American is safe from the risk of harm posed by PFAS.”

The Court-appointed Co-Lead of the MDL Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and one of the Interim Class Counsel, Michael A. London of Douglas & London, P.C., said: “I consider this settlement to be in the best interests of the proposed class and am proud of our team that brought 3M to the bargaining table to offer one of the largest civil settlements in history and by all accounts the largest settlement for alleged contamination of drinking water. While this is a great accomplishment, we have other defendants who aided in this contamination and the time is nigh for them to contribute as well.”

The lawsuits allege that 3M and several other manufacturers sold PFAS-containing products when the companies knew that PFAS compounds would readily contaminate the environment and have the potential to cause human health problems, including cancers. As the only company that manufactured and/or sold aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) containing PFOS, 3M had a large share of PFAS-related liabilities. The agreement comes just weeks after the firm announced a one billion one hundred and eighty-five million dollar ($1,185,000,000) settlement with DuPont and Chemours. Douglas & London and other plaintiff firms continue to pursue other chemical manufacturers that have not settled their share of the public drinking water PFAS-related liabilities. 

The agreement with 3M remains subject to Court approval by the MDL Judge. Once preliminary approval is granted by Judge Gergel, Court-approved notice will commence and be disseminated to proposed class members, which includes public water systems across America that have detected PFAS in their drinking water supplies, those that have yet to test, and those who detect PFAS after testing.

The agreement represents the first of many steps to begin to redress PFAS contamination in America’s drinking water supplies and other harms caused by PFAS chemicals. Lawsuits alleging drinking water and other damage claims against non-settling defendants are ongoing, and the firm continues to zealously pursue them. Proposed class members – along with other injured person(s), natural or legal – may continue to pursue the unresolved claims through available legal channels.

Additional details will be provided in the notice to be disseminated once the Court grants preliminary approval of the settlement.

About Douglas & London, P.C.

Douglas & London is among the most distinguished and accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. Since opening our practice in 2002, our indefatigable attorneys and legal support staff have earned us the distinction of being among the top mass tort and trial firms in the country. We have won trailblazing verdicts, securing millions of dollars in verdicts and billions of dollars in settlements for our clients and helping them put their lives and communities back together. We specialize in complex litigation, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and general products liability cases, as well as environmental and toxic tort litigation and medical malpractice. The firm members are often appointed lead counsel in the largest multi-district cases and often designated as trial counsel in some of the largest cases in the civil justice system.

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