3M Co. is set to hand over a half-million documents in a lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination, but a judge has ruled they will be sealed to protect trade secrets.

The lawsuit deals with perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, commonly called PFOS and PFOA. The manmade chemicals don’t break down in the environment and have been found around the globe in animal and human blood. There’s disagreement on whether the chemicals cause cancer and other health problems. Scientists commissioned by the federal government are deciding whether to label PFOA as a carcinogen.

3M’s original Scotchgard product included PFOS, but Scotchgard has since been reformulated with a different chemical.

Washington County District Court Judge Mary Hannon also ruled on Monday that 3M will have to produce documents on other perfluorochemicals besides the two that have been the focus of the lawsuit so far. 3M had argued that including other perfluorochemicals would add to their burden and cost.

3M spokesman Bill Nelson said 3M stands behind its research that shows no adverse effects on human health from exposure to PFOS and PFOA.

Cottage Grove residents Felicia Palmer and Sesario Briseno sued 3M in 2004. PFOA and PFOS have been found in the Oakdale city well and private wells in the area.

A hearing on whether to grant class-action status to the lawsuit is planned for November.

We're here to help!

We live by our creed of “helping those who need it most” and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked * may be required for submission.

A positive manner

Several years ago my brother and sister -in-law were in a terrible car accident. My sister in-law was paralyzed from her neck down. Beasley Allen handled the case for my brother to see to it that my sister-in-law received the proper and necessary care she needed. I appreciate the attorneys and staff of Beasley Allen in handling this matter quickly and in a positive manner. Good job Beasley Allen!!