3M to pay West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer $35 million in settlement

3M confirmed that they will pay West Morgan-East Lawrence $35 million to settle the lawsuit brought in 2015. 3M confirmed that they will pay West Morgan-East Lawrence $35 million to settle the lawsuit brought in 2015.

The money will go toward a new water filtration system for West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority.

Posted: Apr 28, 2019 6:34 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2019 6:59 PM

3M disclosed how much it will pay to settle a lawsuit brought by West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority (WMEL) back in October 2015.

In their quarterly filing to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission on Friday, 3M said it settled the lawsuit for $35 million. The agreement was reached earlier this month.

The filing states that "The Water Authority will fund a new water filtration system and, as part of the settlement, 3M agreed to indemnify the Water Authority from liability resulting from the resolution of the currently pending and future lawsuits against the Water Authority alleging liability or damages related to 3M PFAS."

3M doesn't state when the money will be delivered to WMEL or how much the filtration system will cost. 

The lawsuit was originally filed against Dyneon L.L.C. and Daikin America, Inc. as well 3M. They argued at the time the chemicals PFOA and PFOS "contaminated the water in the Tennessee River at the water intake and that the chemicals cannot be removed by the water treatment processes," according to 3M's summary.

Daikin settled with WMEL back in July 2018 for $4 million. 

In June 2016, the Tennessee Riverkeeper also filed a lawsuit against 3M, BFI Waste Systems of Alabama, the City of Decatur, and the Municipal Utilities Board of Decatur. The SEC filing states that the "case is stayed until June 2019 with mediation scheduled for May 2019."

According to a joint status report filed in federal court in late March, it states that mediation is being overseen by retired Alabama Supreme Court Justice Bernard Harwood both in the case involving the Tennessee Riverkeeper as well as in the class action case, James St. John, et al. v. 3M Company, et. al.

A site inspection of 3M was conducted with experts July 2018. 

A date of June 1, 2019 was set as an ideal benchmark "to reach an agreement on all issues...However, given the scope and complexity of the matter, the Parties expect they will need to seek an extension of the current mediation stay that expires on June 1, 2019, in order to reduce such an agreement to writing and will timely file such a motion well in advance of the expiration of the current stay."

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