General Mills facing lawsuits over vapor hazard

MINNEAPOLIS - General Mills is facing at least two lawsuits over a vapor problem in a Minneapolis neighborhood.

The two lawsuits seek class action status on behalf of homeowners in the Como neighborhood of Minneapolis. They allege that residents have suffered property damage due to chemical contamination that has migrated from a former General Mills research site into the ground beneath their homes.

Recent soil tests in the neighborhood show that vapor levels from a common solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE, exceed government health limits for indoor air. State officials are testing about 200 homes to find out whether the vapors are seeping into residents' basements.

Plaintiffs want to recoup lost property values. One suit also seeks compensation for costs that residents have incurred to protect themselves from vapor exposure. The other asks to establish a medical monitoring trust fund.

General Mills said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.


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