Court filing: 3M withheld information about contamination

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota's attorney general, in newly filed court briefs, alleges chemicals dumped by 3M Co. in the Twin Cities metro caused higher rates of cancer, infertility and low birthweight babies.

Attorney General Lori Swanson says the contamination caused $5 billion in health and environmental damage for which 3M should be liable.

The state's lawsuit against 3M was first filed in 2010. After a series of procedural delays the case is scheduled for trial early next year. The latest filing alleges 3M knew the groundwater was contaminated years before it stopped making the chemical compounds, known as PFCs, and that it withheld critical information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

3M says the lawsuit is a "misguided attempt" to force the company to pay for a problem that does not exist.

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