G&K Obtains Proposed $15 Billion Settlement in Groundwater Contamination Suit Against 3M, Other Manufacturers


G&K Obtains Proposed $15 Billion Settlement in Groundwater Contamination Suit Against 3M, Other Manufacturers

City of Tucson, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., 4:18-cv-00612

Attorneys Kevin Neal and Ken Ralston were local counsel, representing the City of Tucson, Town of Marana, and City of Mesa, in a multi-district groundwater contamination and tort products liability case against multiple chemical manufacturers, seeking past and future damages to treat and remove the contamination of its public drinking water supply wells and systems.

BackgroundSince the 1960s, the Defendants – 3M Company, f/k/a Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, Chemguard, Inc., Tyco Fire Products LP, and National Foam, Inc. – knowingly manufactured, marketed, and sold an aqueous film-forming foam (“AFFF”), which is used to control and extinguish flammable liquid fires, and contains toxic PFOA and PFOS (aka PFAS, forever chemicals) that move easily through soil and groundwater, posing significant harm to human health and safety.

In 2018, Plaintiffs filed its tort product liability suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, requesting compensatory and punitive damages in a bellwether trial, which consolidated the numerous cases to be tried first. Over 4,000 plaintiffs, including many local and state governments, have sued 3M and other companies for manufacturing and selling AFFFs that contain PFAS.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel presided over the multidistrict case. On the first day of trial, the parties settled for $15 billion.  The terms of the proposed settlement are being reviewed by the court and pending approval.

Attorneys Paul Napoli, Louis Caro, Tate Kunkle, and Aaron Modiano of the New York-based Napoli Shkolnik were co-counsel on this case.

View recent press coverage on this case here:

  1. 3M reaches $10.3 billion settlement over ‘forever chemicals’ in public water systems, 06/23/2023, NPR Morning Edition
  2. Settlement over ‘forever chemicals’ water pollution hailed as big step forward, 06/23/2023, Courthouse News Service
  3. 3M’s $10.3 billion “forever chemicals” settlement is also an armor against future lawsuits, 06/23/2023, Yahoo Finance
  4. 3M to pay at least $10.3B to settle ‘forever chemical’ drinking water lawsuits in U.S., 06/23/2023, CBC / Associated Press
  5. 3M makes $10.5B settlement in ‘forever chemical’ cases involving drinking water, 06/22/2023, Minneapolis Star Tribune
  6. Federal trial in ‘forever chemicals’ case delayed as 3M nears PFAS settlement, 06/06/23, Tucson Sentinel
  7. 3M Heads to Trial in ‘Existential’ $143 Billion PFAS Litigation, 06/02/2023, Bloomberg Law
  8. Companies reach $1.18 billion deal to resolve claims from ‘forever chemicals’ water contamination, 06/02/2023, Associated Press
  9. 3M faces trial over ‘forever chemicals’ in firefighting foam in ‘bet-the-company’ litigation, 06/02/2023, ABA Journal
  10. 3M reaches tentative $10 billion pollution settlement with US cities, Bloomberg reports, 06/02/2023, Reuters
  11. Three ‘Forever Chemicals’ Makers Settle Public Water Lawsuits, 06/02/2023, New York Times
  12. Top US chemical firms to pay $1.2bn to settle water contamination lawsuits, 06/02/2023, The Guardian UK
  13. $58 billion day of reckoning looms for 3M over toxic ‘forever chemicals’, 02/08/2023, Sydney Morning Herald
  14. Firefighting foam trials present next big PFAS challenge for 3M, 10/01/2022, Minneapolis Star Tribune
  15. 3M Loses US Contractor Immunity Argument in PFAS Case, 09/16/2022, Bloomberg Law
  16. Tucson City Council votes to sue 3M, other manufacturers over contaminated wells, 09/07/18, Tucson.com