Read the full article by Irvin Jackson (

“A federal judge has granted final approval for a $54 million PFAS settlement, which will resolve class action claims over the dumping of toxic chemicals near a Wolverine World Wide footwear manufacturing facility in Michigan.

On March 29, Judge Hala Y. Jarbou, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, issued an order (PDF) granting final approval for the deal, which was reached in September, after about five years of litigation.

The lawsuit stemmed from the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to treat leather at a Wolverine footwear manufacturing facility, which leached into Michigan drinking water, posing potential health risks for more than 1,700 area residents.

In 2017, several property owners in Kent County, Michigan filed a PFAS class action lawsuit against 3M and Wolverine due to water contamination in the Belmont Michigan National Guard Armory drinking water. The so-called ‘forever chemicals’ infiltrated local municipal water supplies and private wells, and appeared to be spreading rapidly to other water sources.

The source was tracked back to the House Street Disposal Area, and plaintiffs say it comes from PFAS used by 3M and Wolverine to make Scotchgard, a water replant used in Wolverine’s Keds footwear. Wolverine, based in Rockford, Michigan, is the manufacturer of Cat work boots, as well as Keds and Saucony shoes.

Plaintiffs said Wolverine dumped the waste into nearby disposal sites, which then leached into the water table. The lawsuit also claims both companies knew the risks to local water supplies but failed to take precautions or warn local communities.

According to the final approval order, the settlement involves 1,195 claimants, who will receive between $15,000 and $25,000 each. Only three claimants opted out of the settlement agreement.”…