More than 280,000 claims against chemical company 3M

The multinational responsible for the PFOS contamination in Flanders, According to American experts and Jeroen van Rieth of the Zwijndrecht Gezond action group, another case could lead to bankruptcy. Fewer than 280,000 Americans take it to court.

Controversial American chemical company 3M is in deep trouble. There are 280,000 claims against the multinational in the US. This is because many people suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus due to prolonged use of 3M earplugs. A whistleblower reported a few years ago that the earmuffs offered no protection against hearing damage, but the company decided to continue production until 2015.

Not the first problem

This isn’t the first time 3M has shot itself in the foot. The chemical company was convicted at least 10 times after 16 cases, resulting in a total loss of 273 million euros.

At the time, the parent company reportedly tried to bankrupt the earmold division in order to save the company. But the judge rejected that motion to prevent 3M from avoiding the consequences.

3M didn’t judge the current situation very well, it turns out. The company has reportedly set aside 1 billion euros to cover itself against potential damage claims.

Flemish effects

Jeroen van Rieth of the Zwijndrecht Gezond action group: “We have been warning for months about the bankruptcy of 3M, and now American experts are also calling for that scenario,” it said in a statement. Comedy.

Claims for multiple damages against the company could also have ramifications for Flemish, according to van Rieth. “The company agreed to pay 571 million euros to clean up the PFOS contamination. Will we still see that money if 3M suffers this much damage in the US?

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“If we delay long enough, the bill will end up with taxpayers.”

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