Grand jury subpoenas 3M in Alabama PFAS hazardous chemical investigation

A federal grand jury issued a subpoena last month for global manufacturer 3M Co. The grand jury investigation is reportedly exploring the company’s alleged illegal dumping of toxic chemicals into the Tennessee River near its Decatur, Ala., plant.

News of the subpoena became public during an investor update on Jan. 28 in which 3M stated it is cooperating with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama as a part of the investigation.

Consumers allege 3M and its executives knew for decades of the environmental and health risks posed by these chemicals but failed to inform the public. The company is also accused of dumping chemical waste into the Tennessee River without a required federal permit, according to news reports.

Motley Rice represents communities, local governments, water providers and individuals throughout the country related to allegations of harm caused by PFAS chemicals. Attorney Fred Thompson is liaison counsel for multidistrict litigation in South Carolina targeting aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a common firefighting suppressant that contains PFAS. Attorneys Esther Berezofsky and David Hoyle represent residents of Kent County, Mich., Hoosick Falls, N.Y. and Petersburgh, N.Y., in litigation against corporations such as 3M, Wolverine, St. Gobain and others accused of manufacturing and wrongfully disposing of PFAS chemicals.

Separately, Motley Rice serves as co-lead counsel for 3M investors in federal securities litigation currently pending in the District of New Jersey that alleges 3M failed to disclose the scope of potential liability for its products that contain the toxic chemicals. Motley Rice attorneys Gregg Levin, Josh Littlejohn, Max Gruetzmacher, and Christopher Moriarty represent the lead plaintiffs and proposed class of investors who suffered damages in connection with their purchases of 3M common stock between Feb. 9, 2017 and July 8, 2019.

Called “forever chemicals,” PFAS chemicals often travel long distances by moving through soil, contaminating groundwater, and traveling through the air, increasing the likelihood of exposure to communities surrounding locations where products containing PFAS chemicals are manufactured or manufacturing waste is disposed. These chemicals add up anywhere deposited, including the environment and in the human body, meaning they continue to accumulate over time and are resistant to breaking down as contamination continues to occur.

PFAS exposure sites

PFAS toxic exposure has been reported or investigated in many sites throughout the country, often including near military bases and airports and within water and sewer systems.

3M manufactures and markets various products worldwide in a variety of areas, including safety and industrial, transportation, electronics, health care and consumer products, many of which contain synthetic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or perflourinated chemicals.

For more information or to discuss claims against 3M, email or call 1.800.768.4026.