Manufacturer 3M to Pay $10.3 Billion Settlement for PFAS Water Contamination

Testing water for PFAS contamination

In June 2023, chemical manufacturing giant 3M reached a $10.3 Billion settlement for lawsuits arguing they contaminated local water supplies with dangerous chemicals.

Known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS are found in several products, including firefighting foam. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and other serious illnesses.

The company will be working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and water districts to help test and clean the dangerous materials in drinking water.

This lawsuit is just one of many brought against large manufacturers for PFAS water contamination: Over 300 cities across the nation have filed similar lawsuits in recent years.

Thousands of firefighters who were exposed to PFAS in firefighting foam and later developed cancer have also sought justice from companies like 3M.

The 3M PFAS settlement takes a step toward holding manufacturers accountable for their use of dangerous forever chemicals.

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About the 3M PFAS Lawsuit

The recent 3M settlement marks the end of many lawsuits brought against the manufacturer for its continued contamination of local water sources.

In 2018, the city of Stuart, Florida, first filed a claim alleging the chemical company polluted the area’s soil and groundwater. The city sought compensation to help pay for the large-scale water filtration and clean-up efforts.

Shortly after Stuart’s lawsuit, more claims were filed against 3M. As legal pressure has continued to mount against the company, it has agreed to phase out all PFAS usage by 2025.

Nearly five years after Stuart’s initial filing, 3M finally came to an agreement: a $10.3 Billion PFAS settlement to be paid out over the next 13 years to Stuart and several other cities as they work to clean up the water contamination.

A Wave of PFAS Lawsuits

The first PFAS lawsuit was filed in 1999 against DuPont™, another leading manufacturer of PFAS-containing materials. Since then, thousands of claims have been filed against multiple chemical manufacturing giants.

Many of the recent lawsuits come from firefighters who were exposed to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which contains PFAS chemicals and has been manufactured by 3M since the 1960s.

More than 1,200 PFAS lawsuits were filed in 2021, and almost all of them were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) for firefighters.

Many of these lawsuits are still ongoing, and more claims are being filed each month. In fact, within weeks of the 3M PFAS settlement, three other companies — Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva — also resolved PFAS lawsuits with a $1.19 Billion settlement.

Health Risks of PFAS Forever Chemicals

Studies have shown that exposure to PFAS can have severe health risks. Additionally, even with manufacturers committing to phase out usage of these forever chemicals, people may still be in danger of exposure and illness because these substances cannot break down naturally.

Some cancers linked to PFAS include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer (colon and/or rectal cancer)
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Renal or kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer and disease
  • Uterine or endometrial cancer

If you were a firefighter — including firefighters who served in the U.S. military — and later developed cancer, you may be eligible to file a PFAS lawsuit.

Justice for Those Impacted by PFAS Health Risks

Corporations like 3M profited off their use of PFAS while millions were put at risk of serious health issues. This PFAS settlement is just one example of the justice that is possible for victims.

Firefighters are some of the most at-risk groups for PFAS-related health issues. In fact, cancer caused by toxic exposures like PFAS is the leading cause of death for firefighters in the last year, according to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF).

If you or your loved one was exposed to PFAS as a firefighter and later diagnosed with cancer, you may be eligible for compensation from a PFAS lawsuit.

With over 45 years of experience, Sokolove Law has helped families pursue justice against negligent corporations responsible for their preventable illnesses. Our lawyers have recovered over $9.4 Billion for victims and their families nationwide.

Call us at (800) 995-1212 for a free consultation to see how we can help with your firefighting foam lawsuit.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: July 31, 2023

  1. AP News. “3M reaches $10.3 billion settlement over contamination of water systems with ‘forever chemicals’.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 12, 2023.
  2. Bloomberg Law. “Companies Face Billions in Damages as PFAS Lawsuits Flood Courts.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 12, 2023.
  3. International Association of Firefighters. “Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 13, 2023.
  4. Reuters. “U.S. judge allows 3M, Florida city to delay 'forever chemicals' trial.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 12, 2023.
  5. Time Magazine. “'Forever Chemical' Lawsuits Could Ultimately Eclipse the Big Tobacco Settlement.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 12, 2023.
  6. The Washington Post. “3M to pay $10.3 billion to settle lawsuits over ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 12, 2023.