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Wired News – 3M Agrees to Pay $850 Million to Settle Lawsuit Filed by the State of Minnesota

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LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / February 23, 2018 / Active-Investors.com has just released a free research report on 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM). If you want access to this report all you need to do is sign up now by clicking the following link www.active-investors.com/registration-sg/?symbol=MMM as the Company's latest news hit the wire. On February 20, 2018, the Company and the State of Minnesota announced that they have reached a resolution to end the State's lawsuit against 3M. The state had sued the Company for $5 billion and alleged that drinking water in several east Twin Cities suburbs was contaminated due to disposal of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) over the last fifty plus years adversely impacting the health of people. Register today and get access to over 1,000 Free Research Reports by joining our site below:


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PFC's were used by 3M once to make Scotchgard fabric protector and other products. Research indicates that PFCs are linked to increased risks of cancer, thyroid disease, fertility issues, liver damage, and impacts on growth and learning in children. The settlement was announced by Lori Swanson, Minnesota's Attorney General (AG).

Agreement between 3M and State of Minnesota

As per the terms of the settlement between 3M and the State, both parties have agreed to work together and invest in environment and community. Accordingly, 3M has agreed to provide a $850 million grant to the State for a special fund called - "3M Grant for Water Quality and Sustainability Fund". This fund is expected to support water sustainability projects in the Twin Cities East Metro region. This could include projects related to the reduction of PFCs in the environment and to the enhancement of groundwater sustainability. The fund also plans to support projects which encourage and result in habitat and recreation improvements, such as fishing piers, trails, and open space preservation.

The Company has also shared that the settlement and related legal fees will negatively impact Company's EPS for Q1 2018 by approximately $1.10 to $1.15 per share.

Commenting on the matter, John Banovetz, Senior VP - Research & Development and CTO with 3M, said:

"We are proud of our record of environmental stewardship, and while we do not believe there is a PFC-related public health issue, 3M will work with the State on these important projects. Sustainability is embedded firmly at the core of our business. This settlement reflects our commitment to acting with integrity and conducting business in a sustainable way that is in the best interest of all who live and work in Minnesota."

AG Swanson was pleased with the settlement and stated:

"We think the settlement will help solve a problem for Minnesota. It's a problem that's been a long time in the making for many decades. These chemicals as I mentioned were put into the ground and we are very hopeful that this settlement can help fix that."

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit against 3M was filed in 2010 for contamination of the fish and waterways in Minnesota and later morphed into a case of 3M being held responsible for causing health risks for the residents of the state, especially in the East Twin Cities Metro region.

The AG alleged that the Company's use and disposal of petro-fluorochemicals (PFCs) since the 1950's had contaminated the water supplies in East Twin Cities Metro region leading to health problems for the people drinking the contaminated water. 3M owns the patent for PFCs and used them in the manufacture of products like Teflon brand non-stick cookware and Scotchguard stain repellants. The Company had been disposing these chemicals legally at different landfills in the Twin Cities suburbs of Oakdale, Woodbury and Lake Elmo till the 1970s. The Company stopped making PFCs in early 2000s. The AG believed that the Company continued disposing the chemicals with full knowledge that the groundwater could be contaminated with PFCs and would increase health hazards like cancer and infertility amongst the residents in the region. It is estimated that approximately 67,000 consumed the contaminated water in the affected area.

Although 3M conceded that the presence of PFCs is widespread it claimed that they were harmless and only caused disease in laboratory animals in "ultra-high concentrations". The Company completely denied the AGs allegations that it was knowingly covering up the health risks of PFCs. The Company referred to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studies that show PFCs in someone's blood does not necessarily mean their health will be impacted.

The case which has been delayed for a long time and was further delayed after a report by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in February 07, 2018, said that drinking water contaminated by 3M apparently has not caused higher rates of cancer or low birth weights in parts of Washington County compared to the rest of the state. The case was headed for a jury selection of February 20, 2018, when in a dramatic turn, the Company announced the settlement with the State.

This is not the end of the matter for 3M as it still faces similar lawsuits related to PFCs across the country.

About 3M Co.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M is a global science Company that never stops inventing. The Company has 46 technology platforms, ranging from adhesives and abrasives, to ceramics and nanotechnology. The Company has $30 billion in sales and offices across over 70 countries. It is also supported by a team of 90,000 employees. Some of the popular brands of the Company include Post-it, Scotch, Scotch-Brite, Command, Filtrete, Nexcare, ScotchBlue, etc.

Stock Performance Snapshot

February 22, 2018 - At Thursday's closing bell, 3M's stock rose 1.65%, ending the trading session at $236.00.

Volume traded for the day: 2.28 million shares.

Stock performance in the last three-month – up 1.95%; previous six-month period – up 14.86%; past twelve-month period – up 26.85%; and year-to-date - up 0.27%

After yesterday's close, 3M's market cap was at $140.73 billion.

Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio was at 26.38.

The stock has a dividend yield of 2.31%.

The stock is part of the Industrial Goods sector, categorized under the Diversified Machinery industry. This sector was up 0.6% at the end of the session.


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