Residents in and around Colorado Springs filed a class action lawsuit Thursday against Minnesota-based 3M Corp. and five other companies after drinking contaminated water.
The nine residents alleged that 3M and the other companies “knew or should have known” that the products they created would pose “an unreasonable risk” to residents and the environment in Colorado.
The group is seeking $75,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit, which a judge would have to certify for class-action status before it proceeds.
Earlier this year, residents learned chemicals in a sudsy foam used for fighting fires on military bases likely contaminated water in the area.
The Aqueous Film Forming Foam was reportedly created by 3M at the behest of the Navy and used on military bases across the country. The lawsuit claims The Ansul Co., Angus Fire, Nation Foam, Buckeye Fire Protection Co. and Chemguard also manufactured the toxic foam that the Environmental Protection Agency associates with low birth weight, cancers, thyroid disease and other illnesses.
In addition to money, the residents are asking the companies to admit they acted with “gross negligence” and “careless disregard” for people’s safety. The group also wants the companies to test and monitor and clean drinking water within the contaminated area and provide medical monitoring for residents involved in the lawsuit.
The Air Force plans to spend $4.3 million to treat drinking water in the area, according to The New York Times.
The Times reports the firefighting foam was used on military bases nationwide and that U.S. Defense Department officials identified least 2,000 sites that are possibly contaminated throughout the country.
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