Class-Action Lawsuit Asks 3M, Other Companies To Pay For PFAS Studies

A class-action lawsuit filed in Ohio against 3M and other manufacturers of chemicals linked to adverse health conditions seeks to have the companies fund studies on the aforementioned chemicals.

The lawsuit was filed last week on behalf of Ohio firefighter Kevin Hardwick, who came into contact with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, via firefighting foams and other equipment which contained the chemicals.

The lawsuit alleges 3M and the other companies knowingly exposed people to these chemicals and have refused to fund studies on their effects or publicly acknowledge the adverse effects of PFAS.

The companies claim a “lack of definitive evidence” of a link between PFAS and adverse health effects, according to the lawsuit.

However, the lawsuit cites the work of a C8 Science Panel, whose research found PFAS found in drinking water had “probable links” with certain cancers and other diseases.

The proposed class in the lawsuit is anyone in the United States with a “detectable level” of PFAS materials in their blood. According to the lawsuit, PFAS can be found in the blood of 99 percent of U.S. residents.

In lieu of any compensatory damages, the lawsuit asks for the establishment of an independent panel of scientists to study and publish the health effects of PFAS.

3M gave 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the following statement:

“We are aware of the lawsuit, but have not yet had an opportunity to review the allegations. Nevertheless, 3M acted responsibly in connection with its manufacture and sale of PFAS and will vigorously defend its record of environmental stewardship.”

In February, 3M agreed to pay the state of Minnesota $850 million as part of a settlement agreement in a lawsuit over the company’s disposal of perfluorinated chemicals, which include PFAS.