The Minnesota Attorney General's Office and 3M agreed on a settlement amount of $850 million to settle a lawsuit filed in 2010 over industrial groundwater contamination. The Attorney General had sought at least $5 billion in damages from 3M for the company’s disposal of industrial chemicals -- including PFCs, which are bioaccumulative and harmful chemicals that can build up over decades and increase rates of cancer and birth defects -- in the Twin Cities Metro Area over the past 40 years. The $850 million will be provided to the state as a grant to fund clean drinking water and natural resource projects.
The settlement only covers damages to natural resources. The Attorney General's office stated that it has no jurisdiction to recover damages for personal injuries. 3M settled more than 3,500 personal injury suits last year, paying out more than $671 million.