3M settles suit with state of Minnesota, agrees to pay $850M

They were sued by attorney general Lori Swanson over PFC contamination in the East Metro.

Fortune 500 giant 3M has agreed a $850 million settlement with the state of Minnesota.

The Maplewood-based firm was sued by Attorney General Lori Swanson, who accused it of contaminating large areas of the East Twin Cities Metro with petrofluorochemicals (PFCs) knowing it was harmful to health, and then attempting to mask it.

Jury selection for a trial was due to get underway on Tuesday but was canceled in the morning, suggesting an agreement had been reached.


– What you need to know about the 3M-Minnesota trial

According to a statement, 3M has agreed to provide a $850 million grant to the state to create a "3M Grant for Water Quality and Sustainability Fund."

It will be used for water sustainability projects in the East Metro region, an area where Swanson alleged 3M contaminated water supplies, causing PFCs to be consumed by 67,000 residents.

As well as improving groundwater quality, the fund will also be used for "habitat and recreation improvements, such as fishing piers, trails and open space preservation."

Swanson, who sued 3M for $5 billion, is expected to make a statement later on Tuesday afternoon.

You can find background on the case here.

Next Up


Swanson beefs up Minnesota suit against Accretive

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed more court papers expanding on the state's lawsuit against Accretive Health Services. Two dozen affidavits from hospital patients say the collection agency pressured them for payment while they were awaiting treatments. The suit claims Accretive violated collection laws and patient privacy rights. The company says the lawsuit contains mischaracterizations and distortions.

U.S. Bank settles overdraft suits for $55M

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp has aggreed to pay out $55 million to settle lawsuits accused of imposing imposed excessive overdraft fees on customers. If a federal judge approves the settlement, the Star Tribune reports more than a million U.S. Bank customers could see some money returned. U.S. Bancorp is among more than 30 lenders being sued over the fees.

State attorney general sues over lost laptop

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing a consulting firm for losing a laptop computer filled with private health information for thousands of residents. The suit accuses Accretive Health of violating privacy, consumer protections and debt-collection laws.

3M settles lawsuit over Cogent purchase

Both 3M and Cogent deny any wrong doing, but have agreed to pay $1.9 million to shareholders and their attorneys. Bloomberg reports the investors claim Cogent CEO Ming Hsieh favored 3M to collect a retention bonus. The Maplewood-based company paid about $943 million in 2010 for Cogent.