PHILADELPHIA – Eight individuals have signed on to a class action lawsuit
alleging that 3M and several other defendants should be held responsible for injuries
they sustained from water contaminated when others used the aqueous film
forming foam, or AFFF, that 3M has sold in the past.
The lawsuit was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Sept. 15.
The lawsuit against 3M, Angus Fire, The Ansul Company, Buckeye Fire Protection
Company, Chemguard and National Foam has no merit, William A. Brewer III told
the Pennsylvania Record. Brewer is a partner at Brewer, Attorneys
& Counselor, and serves as counsel for 3M.
This is not the first time that 3M
has been sued for injuries allegedly caused by the foam product used in
firefighting, but Brewer said that
3M has not sold the product in a decade.
is a product that was used by the U.S. military and departments of defense
around the world because it saves lives – which likely explains why this
product remains in use approximately a decade after 3M exited the sale of it,"
"In any event, we believe these claims lack merit. 3M
sold these products with instructions regarding their safe use and disposal.”
U.S. Navy purchased the product for firefighting use in ships and other
locations, including at the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint
Reserve Base in Horsham and the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster.
The chemicals in this firefighting suppressant
include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate
(PFOS), which, when used on military bases in the area, allegedly washed into
the drinking water, which led to alleged health
issues for residents of several communities where these products were used.
works to block oxygen when used in a firefighting situation.
has prevailed in similar cases," Brewer said. "In a recent matter, the plaintiff
dismissed its claims against 3M and agreed to pay a significant portion of
the company's legal fees for having brought the case."
plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit include Hanah Bates; Michael S.
Bridges; Ann Marie Kuter; Kelley Liott; Lynda Mills, as parent and natural
guardian of a minor identified as S.M.; Jennifer Rock; and Carolyn Sippel.
seek an order from the court that would require the defendants to create a testing
protocol for wells and install filtration devices on wells that test
positive for contaminants, and also ask for damages, court costs and other
relief that the court may impose.
will vigorously defend this new lawsuit and its record of responsible behavior," Brewer said.
"3M is proud of its record of responsible stewardship in connection with its
manufacturing and sale of AFFF."