The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, more commonly known as 3M, is a science-based company and global manufacturer of numerous adhesive products and numerous other products for businesses and consumers. Its products can be found in over 200 countries, worldwide. However, 3M’s success came at a price, as the company once relied heavily on asbestos. When 3M workers, contractors, and consumers began falling ill to the life-threatening diseases, thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits against the company followed.
There currently more than $30 billion available in asbestos trust funds. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more.
3M was founded in 1902 by several businessmen, including Dr. J Danley Budd, John Dwan, William A, McGonagle, Herman W. Cable, and Henry S. Bryan. According to the company’s official website, the five founders all had a single goal in mind for the company at the beginning: to mine corundum, a mineral found in a Crystal Bay mine. Although the company’s founders didn’t have luck with corundum, a partnership began that would take the company to global proportions.
In 1910, the company settled in St. Paul, Minnesota, and within 10 years, created the waterproof sandpaper, used to repel dust during automobile manufacturing. In 1925, the invention of masking tape by Richard G. Drew started the company’s Scotch brand, which grew to include cellophane tape and pressure-sensitive tape.
By World War II, 3M began manufacturing products for the military, including Scotchlite™ Reflective Sheeting and filament adhesive tape, which made the company expand even further, into the graphics arts industry- which led to the creation of offset printing plates.
Throughout the next numerous years, 3M expanded substantially, adding a wide variety of products to its line, including Scotchgard™ products, Thermo-Fax™, Post-it® products, and more. The company’s large success led to the opening of several factories across world, including locations in Australia, Canada, Mexico, France, and England.
However, by the the time Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on asbestos, 3M had already used the toxic mineral in a variety of its products for many years. This eventually led to thousands of asbestos-related claims and lawsuits against the company, with many of the cases being filed recently.
3M Asbestos-related Lawsuits
To date, over 300,000 asbestos-related lawsuits and claims have been filed against 3M from former employees, contractors, and consumers.
For instance, Reuters reports that in 2005, Heather Von St. James, of St. Paul, Minnesota, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in her early 40s. St. James was the daughter of man who made a living by sanding drywall. Each day, he would come from work in asbestos-filled clothing and give his family a hug, when eventually led to St. James’ second-hand asbestos exposure.
St. James filed an asbestos-related claim against 3M, the company responsible for her father’s asbestos exposure and her 2nd hand exposure. A confidential agreement, however, wouldn’t allow St. James to confirm the compensation she received.
3M also faced numerous lawsuits for its 3M 8710 mask, which was said to be defective. In 2014, the wife of former worker Frank Zickert, who died of mesothelioma, sued 3M for providing defective face masks that didn’t prevent workers from ingesting asbestos fibers.
Zickert’s job involved making asbestos-containing fire doors and other products, and he relied on the mask to protect from the dangers of asbestos fibers. Yet, according to the lawsuit, the masks didn’t work, which ultimately led to Zickert’s death.
“Frank’s job involved making asbestos fire doors with material similar to Kaylo that contained chrysotile amosite asbestos fibers, cleanup, and disposal of the waste and scrap from such doors. At certain times the mixing of asbestos fibers to make the cores for the fire doors was a part of the manufacturing process,” the lawsuit states.
Unlike many other companies that are faced with thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits, 3M never filed for bankruptcy and still continues to face asbestos-related claims.
Occupations Affected by 3M
Unfortunately, numerous workers from various occupations were affected by 3M’s asbestos-containing products, as the company made a variety of things that were shipped all over the world. The occupations that were most affected include:
- Drywall sanders
- 3M employees (manufacturers)
- Factory workers
- Automobile manufacturers
Common 3M products that contained asbestos include caulking materials and and adhesives. Fortunately, the company no longer uses asbestos in any of its products.
Additional Resources and Help for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved one are suffering from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that you may be eligible for a substantial amount of compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.