Motion filed in chemical contamination case against 3M and other defendants

“The people in North Alabama will have a voice for the first time in their lifetime in this process,”
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 8:38 PM CST
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - A motion was filed in court for preliminary approval of a class action settlement involving 3M, Daikin and other companies who have agreed to clean up their PFAs contaminated areas. This new motion involves the same parties in the nearly $100 million settlement with 3M.

This would obligate those parties to continue the cleanup of PFAs contaminated properties. Any litigation involving 3M and PFAs contamination go back to nearly 20 years ago involving Eddie St. John, now known as the St. John case.

St. John worked at 3M and thought his Parkinson’s was caused by the chemicals there, but the attention has since then turned to the chemical’s effects on the environment.

Attorney Leon Ashford has been involved with this case for nearly two decades.

“What this class action settlement does is it gives us a legal opportunity to get those parties responsible for the contamination to address it, to address it with oversight from us, and to do it in such a way that all of the four hundred thousand citizens in North Alabama are made better by our efforts,” said Ashford.

Ashford says they’ve been working with 3M and other defendants to deal with this problem that those four hundred thousand citizens knew nothing about.

“It exists, it persists, it will persist as long as we are alive. So the problem is, how do you deal with what is there? Has the science caught up to what has occurred all of those decades? And what I would say is the science is catching up, but we know the only way we can deal with these chemicals is to try to mitigate and contain them,” said Ashford.

If granted, the court would have oversight of everything that would be done in the future as to addressing PFAs contamination.

“We have our experts actually getting information from 3M and the other defendants. We are allowed to actually weigh in and make recommendations and 3M are paying, and other defendants are paying those expert fees in the future so the people in North Alabama will have a voice for the first time in their lifetime in this process,” said Ashford.

Ashford says they expect a judge to set a hearing on this motion sometime this week with all of the parties involved.

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