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Decatur and Morgan County attorneys in 3M litigation to receive $ 7 million

DECATUR, Alabama – The $ 98 million lawsuit settlement with 3M reached by the Decatur City Council, Morgan County Commission and Decatur Utilities also included governments’ approval of a block payment of $ 7 million at the law firm Decatur Harris, Caddell and Shanks, the firm that helped negotiate the settlement.

3M’s PFAS chemical waste lawsuit settlement in Decatur and Morgan County includes millions for plugging landfill pods, clean-up work, tracking groundwater contamination and $ 35 million for a new leisure facility for Decatur.

The current Aquadome property in Decatur is adjacent to the former Brookhaven Middle School, which was built on a closed landfill where PFAS chemicals were detected in the ground. There are no federal regulations governing PFAS chemicals in soil. There is a Lifetime Health Advisory from the FDA regarding the levels of PFAS in drinking water. The Decatur-3M regulation does not explicitly deal with drinking water.

Decatur Utilities issued a statement on Oct. 26 that the regulation was unrelated to drinking water supplied by Decatur Utilities, stating that “drinking water is completely safe and meets or exceeds all state and federal regulatory standards for regulated contaminants AND EPA health notice. limits for non-regulated per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). “

Approval of the law firm’s $ 7 million in payments came in a resolution on Oct. 26, according to government records, when the board and commission approved the 3M settlement.

One of the difficulties in the litigation with 3M was Decatur, Morgan County and Decatur Utilities were named as co-defendants. Decatur and 3M officials told News 19 last year that as part of the settlement negotiations 3M was paying the legal bills of the litigation for Decatur and Morgan County.


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