KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Six months after a preliminary settlement was approved in a PFAS case involving Wolverine Worldwide and 3M, a U.S. District Judge in Grand Rapids has given final approval.
The lawsuit, involving the 2017 discovery of PFAS contamination of drinking water in northern parts of Kent County, will award $54 million to approximately 1,700 plaintiffs in the contaminated region.
The plaintiffs will receive a portion of the $54 million based on several factors including the level of PFAS contamination on their property.
U.S. District Judge Hala Jarbou approved the settlement Thursday after signing off on the preliminary approval in September of 2022.
Esther Berezofsky, lead attorney representing the plaintiffs from the Motley Rice firm in New Jersey, noted that the payment is for property damages and not claims stemming from personal injury from PFAS exposure.
Future litigation against the companies is still possible should someone exposed to PFAS chemicals get sick as a direct result of that exposure.
Wolverine Worldwide released this statement following the settlement's approval:
"We are pleased to have received final approval of the class action settlement agreement reached in September 2022. This approval reflects the continued progress we have made in resolving this matter for our community. We are furthering our commitment to the community through the ongoing municipal water installation and environmental remediation efforts. For more information, please visit www.WeAreWolverine.com."
Class action lawsuits typically take up to several weeks after a ruling to disperse the funds to the winning plaintiffs.
The current class action lawsuit settlement comes after both Wolverine Worldwide and 3M agreed to pay $69.5 million combined to bring municipal water to residents in northern Kent County. That settlement was split between the two companies with 3M paying out $55 million.
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