3M (MMM) defends against chemical contamination claims

If some analysts are correct the liability will be in the tens of billions. What will that do to their dividend?

3M is defending itself against allegations that chemicals and products it has made for decades have contaminated drinking water and pose health risks. Legal and industry analysts expect 3M to be engaged for years in remediating alleged soil and water contamination from forever chemicals, which have been used in industrial and consumer products including nonstick cookware, carpeting and firefighting foam.

The Minnesota-based company also is a defendant in liability lawsuits for earplugs manufactured for the military. Claims filed by about 230,000 veterans—a record number of claims in a single federal court case—allege that the earplugs failed to protect them from service-related hearing loss.

3M is contesting the claims. In coming trials over the chemicals’ use in fire-suppression foam, the company is expected to argue that the foam was produced to U.S. military specifications, providing 3M legal protection as a government contractor. 3M has said the earplugs are safe and effective when soldiers get the proper training on how to use them.

3M Tries to Contain Legal Battles Over ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Earplugs – WSJ