Award Against 3M
Holmes County, MS -- February 15, 2002 -- A Mississippi Circuit court has affirmed a $22.5 million jury award against Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. (3M), a manufacturer of respirator masks and other products. The ruling favors four laborers who had worked near asbestos-contaminated boiler rooms and pipes in shipyards and at schools. They claimed that their respirator masks, which were manufactured by 3M, were ineffective in blocking asbestos fibers (Star Tribune, October 30, 2001; Dow Jones stories, January 31, 2002).
The men's attorneys argued that the respiration masks were improperly labeled and that 3M knew that the masks did not prevent inhalation of asbestos particles. 3M is expected to appeal the decision.