The City of Stuart, Florida and 3M have reached a confidential settlement agreement arising out of a lawsuit that the City filed against 3M in 2018. The lawsuit alleged that “PFAS,” a group of manufactured chemicals formally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, from products fabricated or sold by 3M, contaminated groundwater wells used by residents of Stuart and Stuart’s public water system.
PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals,” a term coined by Harvard professor Joseph G. Allen in 2018, because they do not break down in the environment or in bodies. According to the EPA, the effects of PFAS on the human body include reproductive issues, such as decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women, developmental delays in children, increased risk of cancers, and a weakening of the immune system.
The City Commission approved a resolution this afternoon authorizing the Mayor to execute the settlement agreement. The case was selected by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel in the District of South Carolina to be the first bellwether trial for In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2:18-mn-2873-RMG.
Below is a statement from Frank Petosa of Morgan & Morgan and Nancy Christensen of Weitz & Luxenberg, who served as Co-Lead Counsel for the City, and Gary Douglas of Douglas & London, P.C., Lead Trial Counsel:
“We’re pleased to announce that we have reached a settlement with 3M on behalf of the City of Stuart over the alleged contamination of the City’s drinking water. This settlement will allow the City to continue providing clean drinking water to its residents. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to represent the City of Stuart and to have achieved a just outcome for the residents of Stuart.”
The City of Stuart was represented by Morgan & Morgan and Weitz & Luxenberg.
The case is Case No. 2:18-cv-3487 titled, City of Stuart, Florida v. The 3M Co. et al.