Wolverine and 3M Named in US Water Contamination Lawsuits
Footwear manufacturer Wolverine is facing a barrage of lawsuits stemming from its use of former Scotchgard chemicals that have been linked to some forms of cancer.
Technology company has 3M also been named in the complaints.
A second lawsuit followed on Tuesday and a third is planned in coming days concerning pollution near a plant outside of Grand Rapids, including one seeking class-action status, according to lawyer Esther Berezofsky of the Berezofsky Law Group, a firm representing the plaintiffs in the suit.
Rockford, Michigan-based Wolverine issued a statement saying it is committed to working on cleaning up the site, but that it will aggressively defend itself against all charges.
“3M never manufactured or disposed of PFC-containing materials in Michigan,” the company said in a statement.
We believe this lawsuit lacks merit.” But in February, the Maplewood, Minnesota-based company did agree to pay $850 million to the state of Minnesota to settle a lawsuit filed in 2010 over disposal of the same chemicals, which were once used by 3M to make Scotchgard fabric protector and by DuPont to make Teflon.
The companies no longer use the chemicals.
DuPont also agreed to pay out $671 million to settle lawsuits.
There was speculation that the decision to move had something to do with Wolverine’s troubles with water contamination issues in the area surrounding their dump sites.
But a spokesperson for the company was quick to deny those allegations at the time.