MINNEAPOLIS - The product is used around the world -- stain repellent Scotchgard, manufactured by Minnesota-based Fortune 500 Company 3M.
But in its original formula used until 2002, Scotchgard's key ingredient was a chemical abbreviated "PFOS," which the Minnesota Attorney General alleges in a lawsuit is toxic, causing harm to people and the environment.
The A.G. filed suit against 3M in 2010 and the case stalled for years. But before a Friday deadline, the state filed dozens of reports they believe prove that 3M knew it was polluting, knew it was potentially causing health problems, but continued to do it in order to keep making money.
According to the lawsuit, 3M dumped "massive quantities" of chemical waste at four spots in the East Twin Cities Metro for 40 years, beginning in the 1950s. That includes 100,000 gallons every year right into the Mississippi River.
The state claims the waste seeped into the ground, contaminating the drinking water for everyone from Cottage Grove north to Lake Elmo.
And according to the lawsuit, premature birth and fertility problems are more common in that area.
In addition, the lawsuit claims children born in Oakdale were 171 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
Randy Schwartz is among those worried. The Lakeland Township resident learned this fall his well is contaminated. "How would it make you feel if you were living in my house and found out you had bad water?" Schwartz asked Monday night.
He stopped drinking his water immediately and even unplugged his ice maker, but Schwartz is still concerned. "Think you've got perfect water, and how many years have you been drinking it?" he asked.
Schwartz has been in his home for 22 years. "How many years has it been polluted?"
The state has begun providing Schwartz with bottled water, free of charge, but he's angry he wasn't notified to have his water tested. Schwartz only requested a test after contaminants showed up in a neighbor's well.
3M's attorney William A. Brewer III, in a statement to KARE 11, wrote in part: "3M believes these chemicals present no harm at the levels they are observed in Minnesota. And, as every person with knowledge of the facts is aware, all of 3M's activities were fully permitted."
But in the lawsuit, the state claims 3M has known for decades that the chemicals "posed a substantial risk to human health and the environment."
The state accuses the company of funding "friendly research" and paying to suppress "less favorable research."
The new filings are part of a motion by the state to amend the civil complaint and allow them to seek punitive damages. The state's experts claim damages could reach $5 billion dollars.
On Friday, 3M filed a motion asking for the case to be dismissed.
The judge will rule on both motions before the jury trial, which is scheduled for February.