Wolverine settles 1st homeowners’ suit over PFAS-tainted wells

Toxic Tap Water

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Wolverine Worldwide has settled the first of 250 lawsuits filed by residents whose drinking water was contaminated by the shoemaker’s manufacturing waste, dumped in Belmont decades ago.

The attorney for residents said the settlement was for an undisclosed amount.

The case was filed by Tobyn and Seth McNaughton, who live near the Rockford-based company’s old dump on House Street in Plainfield Township. Their young son was found to have high levels of PFAS in his blood.

They and their neighbors’ wells were found to be tainted with the class of chemicals, a likely carcinogen that has also been linked to ulcerative colitis and liver and thyroid problems, among other illnesses.

The McNaughton’s lawsuit, which was supposed to be the first test case against Wolverine, was set to go to trial on March 2. Their lawyer said the settlement won’t have any impact on the other cases.

The settlement comes a day after Wolverine announced it had reached a $55 million settlement with Minnesota-based chemical giant 3M, the company that made the Scotchgard blamed for the contamination.

Also this week, a judge approved a $69.5 million settlement between Wolverine and Algoma and Plainfield townships that will pay to expand the municipal water system to around 1,000 homes with contaminated wells.

The state is still suing 3M and 16 other companies that it claims are responsible for PFAS contamination around Michigan.

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