3M Agrees to Pay Over 10 Billion to Clean Up AFFF Water Contamination

July 1, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
3M Agrees to Pay Over 10 Billion to Clean Up AFFF Water Contamination

One of the largest manufacturers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam, 3M, has announced that it will settle the water contamination lawsuits brought against them. This comes after communities presented evidence of significant contamination of their local water supplies with cancer-causing chemicals found in AFFF firefighting foam. As a result of using their polluted water, residents have developed cancer, organ damage, and experienced other poor health outcomes.

While this settlement signifies a major step toward resolving the litigation pertaining to AFFF water contamination, the cleanup and rehabilitation of these water sources will be ongoing for many years yet. Plaintiffs who have become ill after significant environmental or occupational exposure to PFAS, the carcinogens found in AFFF, should consider filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

3M Settles With Public Water Utilities Over AFFF Lawsuits

In South Carolina, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel has been overseeing a group of AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation. One of the defendants, 3M, has agreed to settle the claims alleging their AFFF firefighting foam polluted communities’ water supplies with carcinogenic chemicals. The negotiated agreement was 10.3 billion dollars to be spread out over 13 years. 

The bellwether claim in question was brought by the public water utility for the city of Stuart, Florida, which had spent $25 million dollars on a modern water system to eradicate the PFAS from their water supply.

This was necessary because PFAS don’t respond to conventional methods of decontamination, such as treating the water with chlorine. The city of Stuart reported that its water supply contained over 180 parts per trillion in some cases. The EPA’s new proposed regulation for PFAS levels in water is between 0 and 4 parts per trillion for most PFAS.

The source of the contamination was determined to be AFFF firefighting foam runoff. The settlement money from 3M will go toward cleaning up contaminated water supplies, implementing structures to accomplish this, and costs for maintaining these systems. The company has also announced that it will end PFAS manufacturing by 2025, which may limit the liability it accumulates in the future, but leaves them accountable for the damage already done. 

3M’s AFFF Firefighting Foam Contained Carcinogens That Contaminated Local Water Supplies 

AFFF firefighting foam has been the industry standard for fire extinguishing for decades. It is used by the U.S. military and fire departments across the country, and at airports. The foam forms a layer that coats the fuel source and deprives the fire of oxygen. While effective, AFFF firefighting foam has been found to contain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a toxic group of chemicals.

The same PFAS properties that contribute to AFFF’s efficacy make them dangerous to humans at high levels. PFAS have been labeled “forever chemicals” due to the fact that they don’t break down in the environment or the human body. The prevalence of PFAS in many household objects, particularly those that are stain-resistant, non-stick, and water-resistant, has become a growing cause for concern because research has shown that PFAS likely increases a person’s risk of cancer and other serious health issues.

Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Water Contamination Risk

Companies like 3M have faced increasing scrutiny for their products, such as AFFF, that contain PFAS. AFFF in particular has done significant damage because when it dissipates it can leach into a community’s water supply, which is then distributed over distances and used by residents to clean, cook, and bathe. Contamination levels tend to be higher in water sources near military bases, airports, and some factories.

3M was aware that PFAS could cause cancer by the 1980s, but chose to engage in a concerted effort to discredit science showing PFAS were dangerous. They are now paying the price for their negligence to the tune of $10.3 billion dollars.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group for My AFFF Lawsuit?

The personal injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group have ample experience dealing with both mass tort issues and water contamination claims. We have a solid record of helping clients recover the compensation they deserve. In fact, we have a long list of former clients who will speak to the efficacy of our process and the quality of our services. 

Our firm is the right size to provide you with the attention you deserve from a highly-qualified personal injury lawyer while giving you access to the resources you need to mount a successful claim for damages. The personal injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group will be by your side for every step.

We believe that companies who neglect to warn consumers about the dangers of products like AFFF and allow toxins to pollute local water supplies deserve to be held liable for the harm they have inflicted on communities across the country. At Dolman Law Group, we have over a decade of results demonstrating our ability to maximize compensation for our injured clients, and you can trust us to do the same for you. 

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your AFFF Firefighting Foam Lawsuit

While 3M agreeing to a settlement represents a victory for plaintiffs, many are still suffering from the impact of PFAS exposure. The AFFF firefighting foam attorneys of Dolman Law Group are prepared to help rectify this by negotiating fair settlements to compensate AFFF plaintiffs for their medical bills, reduced earning capacity, and other damages such as loss of quality of life.

We will not hesitate to bring your AFFF water contamination claim to court to obtain a settlement that acknowledges the true extent of your damages. Our relentless team will dedicate the time and attention your claim deserves to secure a fair outcome and hold negligent companies like 3M, Dupont, and Chemours accountable for their negligence.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer or experienced health issues as a result of PFAS exposure through water contamination or through occupational exposure, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages in an AFFF lawsuit. The personal injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group have the resources and expertise to give you the best opportunity to maximize your compensation in an AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More