PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuit

Millions of families in the U.S. may have had drinking water contaminated with PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl) substances commonly known as “forever chemicals.” PFAS include perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”) and perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”). These chemicals have been used for various industrial purposes for years, including use in firefighting foam products used to put out chemical fires.

Using PFAS around the country has led to widespread groundwater contamination. Exposure to PFAS in contaminated groundwater has been shown to cause cancer and other health conditions. If you have been diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to water contaminated with PFAS, you may be able to file a lawsuit and get financial compensation.

If you have cancer and believe it was from PFAS exposure, call our PFAS lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a no-obligation free consultation online.

PFAS Updates

We start by keeping you abreast of the latest news, information, and updates related to PFAS water contamination lawsuits.

April 11, 2024: Two North American cities, Vancouver in Canada and Concord in New Hampshire, U.S., are leading a significant shift in firefighting gear by allocating public funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment that does not contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

This move is a direct response to the increasing concerns over the health risks associated with PFAS, chemicals known for their persistence in the environment and potential links to cancer. Vancouver’s city council has approved a substantial investment for PFAS-free firefighting gear, with an expectation to outfit the entire department by January 2025. Similarly, Concord’s investment will provide PFAS-free gear to its firefighters, responding to the high incidence of cancer among the firefighting community.

These purchases represent a broader effort that should be commended to mitigate occupational cancer risks, spurred by firefighter unions and backed by recent developments in textile technology that meet safety standards without using PFAS.

April 8, 2024: Two plaintiffs have initiated a class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others in federal court in New York against Brumis Imports, Inc., alleging that the company’s Brooklyn Steel-branded nonstick cookware contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

These chemicals are known for their health risks and environmental persistence. Despite promoting the cookware as health and environmentally friendly, the lawsuit contends that Brumis Imports failed to disclose the presence of PFAS in their products, contrary to their marketing claims.

This lawsuit follows the company’s own disclosure of PFAS use in their products to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, which was later made public by the advocacy group Defend Our Health. The plaintiffs are seeking damages and injunctive relief for violations of New York’s General Business Law, fraud, and other claims.

April 2, 2024: A Pennsylvania resident filed a lawsuit against 3M and other chemical manufacturers, claiming that the companies’ fluorochemical products led to the contamination of the state’s water supply. The plaintiff alleges to have consumed this contaminated water and, as a consequence, developed kidney cancer, which necessitated medical interventions, including surgery.

Her PFAS drinking water lawsuit attributes the plaintiff’s suffering, pain, emotional distress, including fears of cancer recurrence, and financial losses to the ingestion of water tainted with the defendants’ chemicals. Moreover, the plaintiff asserts that these fluorochemicals continue to reside in their body, posing ongoing risks of further disease and potential cancer recurrence.

April 1, 2024:  As expected, Judge Gergel greenlit 3M PFAS drinking water settlement on Friday.

The settlement, ranging between $10 billion and $12.5 billion, spares 3M from potentially prolonged legal disputes with utilities over its responsibility for the damages caused by its PFAS, which have been used for decades in specialized firefighting foams released directly into the environment. But there is more litigation on the horizon for3M, starting with the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuits.

March 29, 2024: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) successfully dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit accusing it of falsely advertising waterproof clothing as safe and eco-friendly despite the fact that it contains PFAS.

A federal judge in Washington state ruled on Friday the plaintiff, Jacob Krakauer, did not have standing because he failed to test his purchased jacket or any similar model for PFAS.

Krakauer’s allegations were based on the company’s omission of PFAS in their product labeling and reliance on REI’s environmental certifications. However, his claim was weakened by the absence of testing on the specific jacket model and the fact that REI disclosed the use of short-chain PFAS in their products when no alternatives exist. The court found Krakauer’s allegations too vague and his expectations of a PFAS-free product unreasonable, given the company’s disclosures.

Krakauer has been given three weeks to amend his complaint.

March, 21, 2024: A new PFAS lawsuit was filed in the AFFF MDL last week. The plaintiff, an adult residing in Guin, Marion County, Alabama since 1974, is the duly appointed personal representative of the estate of his late spouse His spouse, born in 1972 and a fellow resident of Guin, Marion County, Alabama, passed away in 2022 at age 50.

During her life, she was regularly exposed to PFAS products manufactured by the defendant, 3M. This exposure led to a breast cancer diagnosis, which ultimately caused her death.

3M Company has been implicated in environmental pollution through the discharge of PFAS-contaminated wastewater into Purgatory Creek, a vital water source for Marion County. This pollution extends to ground and surface waters.

His 3M PFAS lawsuit accuses the company of disposing solid waste laden with PFAS chemicals at a landfill close to the cities of Guin and Twin in Marion County. This caused a chemical runoff into the local sanitary sewer system managed by the Guin Water Works and Sewer Board (GWWSB), as well as into the area’s watersheds, creeks, streams, and private water sources. GWWSB, which supplies drinking water to the communities in and around Guin, including Twin, Hamilton, and Winfield, has been providing water contaminated with PFAS due to 3M’s activities. The decedent, a consumer of GWWSB’s water, used this contaminated water for drinking and household purposes, resulting in direct exposure to PFAS.

March 8, 2024: 

The EPA released a draft analysis focusing on the health hazards of perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), a type of PFAS. The analysis examines potential birth weight reductions resulting from PFNA ingestion.  Birth weight is a critical indicator of infant health, as it can impact various aspects of a baby’s development and well-being. Low birth weight infants can face increased risks of health complications, including respiratory issues, feeding difficulties, infections, and developmental delays.

PFNA is primarily used in the production of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), commonly used in industrial equipment.

March 7, 2024:

The EPA has send the the Navy a letter about PFAS contamination in Hawaii.   It emphasizes the need to expedite the Red Hill PFAS Remedial Investigation (RI) and conduct bi-monthly sampling for PFAS in facility wells. The letter also suggests evaluating data to identify trends, sampling storage tanks for PFAS, and responding to comments on groundwater sampling programs.

Six out of the 21 monitoring wells around Red Hill detected PFAS levels exceeding EPA standards last year. This prompted the EPA and Hawaii health department to urge the Navy to investigate further. The groundwater tested is not directly used for drinking but is part of the same aquifer system relied upon by the Navy and civilian water utilities, which maintain that their delivered water is safe.

PFAS contamination gained public attention after a November 2022 spill of PFAS-containing firefighting foam at Red Hill. Test results continue to show PFAS presence at the spill site, known as Adit 6. Regulators found high concentrations of an older PFAS variant, PFOS, in soil near Adit 6 and groundwater under a different part of the facility, suggesting historical contamination. This indicates a broader PFAS issue at Red Hill that certainly warrants further investigation.

March 5, 2024

Coty Inc. successfully defended against a consumer protection lawsuit in federal court in New York claiming that purchasers overpaid for two of its mascaras, alleging the presence of PFAS. Judge Analisa Torres ruled that consumers failed to provide sufficient evidence, including details about the testing methodology and the extent of PFAS presence in the products.

The lawsuit followed a 2021 study from Notre Dame, which found PFAS in some waterproof mascaras. However, the court previously dismissed the suit for failing to demonstrate that consumers relied on Coty’s statements about its brand. Despite denying the consumers’ request to dismiss the suit without prejudice, Torres allowed them to seek leave to amend their complaint if they could present new facts to support their claims.

Honestly, I cannot tell whether all of these consumer class action lawsuits are a part of the solution or a part of the problem.  Our lawyers are focused on injury and and wrongful death claims and I sometimes fear that the water contamination and consumer class action suits are distracting those lawsuits from people who have suffered direct instead of theoretical injury from PFAS/AFFF.

March 4, 2024

Three Connecticut residents have filed a proposed class action against Kimberly-Clark Corp., alleging that the company contaminated private wells near its New Milford manufacturing plant with toxic chemicals.  This PFAS lawsuit claims that Kimberly-Clark’s emissions from its facility’s smokestacks spread PFAS  into the air and surrounding area, poisoning private drinking water wells.

Kimberly-Clark’s New Milford facility, which has been producing paper products since the 1950s.  The suit claims it utilizes forever chemicals in its manufacturing process, potentially leading to health issues and property devaluation.

The complaint outlines two proposed classes: one for property owners affected by the contamination and another for those who ingested the contaminants.

February 29, 2024

On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that substances commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” are no longer permitted for use in the production of food packaging that is resistant to grease, such as containers used for take-out food.

This great decision eliminates a significant pathway through which people have been exposed to these awful chemicals.

February 27, 2024

The U.S. government submitted three motions to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, explaining why it believes the court should reject claims that the military is responsible for environmental damage attributed in New Mexico to the use of fire-fighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

These motions respond to claims of nationwide environmental harm and damage alleged by the state of New Mexico and four dairy farms, which they attribute to activities at Cannon Air Force Base. The government argues for the dismissal of New Mexico’s claims due to lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under section 113(h) of CERCLA. This section restricts federal courts from hearing challenges to ongoing cleanup efforts.  I’m not sure why a civil lawsuit for the damages relates to the Air Force’s ongoing investigation and remediation efforts at CAFB and why money damages for the harm caused would interfere with these efforts.

They also assert that the use and handling of AFFF were integral to the Air Force’s military mission, and the decisions challenged by the plaintiffs are examples of discretionary, policy-based decisions made in furtherance of that mission. Such decisions are protected under the FTCA’s Discretionary Function Exception (28 U.S.C. § 2680(a)), which essentially provides immunity to the United States for actions taken as part of a government official’s discretionary functions or duties, as long as the actions are not illegal or based on statutory violations.

Should the court side with the federal government, absolving it of liability – I don’t think it will – water contamination lawyers will change gears and file against the PFAS makers.

February 26, 2024

In a new PFAS lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois, the plaintiff, a resident of Bethalto, Madison County, alleges that his diagnosis of testicular cancer was caused or contributed to by exposure to  PFAS, TCE, and other toxic chemicals. These substances were reportedly manufactured, sold, distributed, marketed, designed, supplied, stored, and/or used by various defendants, including Shell USA, Phillips 66, Aton, Safety Kleen Systems, 3M, and others.

The complaint describes the plaintiff’s long-term exposure to PFAS through drinking water in Wood River, Madison County, where he was born and raised. The lawsuit includes several counts against the defendants, covering negligence and strict liability for design defect and failure to warn in connection with the PFAS chemicals.

Additionally, specific counts are directed against industrial defendants and Safety-Kleen Systems, outlining their roles in the plaintiff’s exposure to harmful substances. The complaint argues that the defendants were aware or should have been aware of the risks associated with PFAS and TCE but failed to protect public health, contributing to the plaintiff’s cancer diagnosis. The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages exceeding $50,000.00, along with other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

February 25, 2024

In 2024, policymakers in 36 states are set to review over 450 bills targeting toxic chemicals, with a significant focus on PFAS, as per a report by Safer States, an alliance of environmental organizations. This initiative marks a potential record year for PFAS bans, extending beyond mere prohibitions to include measures like monitoring and testing of PFAS in various environments, and labeling restrictions in products such as firefighting equipment.

The movement gains momentum from diverse groups including firefighters, farmers, and families, aiming to mitigate the risks associated with petrochemicals and toxic materials. Additionally, at least 25 states will contemplate laws to curb plastic pollution and waste, while no fewer than 15 states are expected to examine regulations on harmful chemicals in cosmetics, alongside other environmental health issues like microplastics in drinking water and chemical disclosure. This effort reflects a broader push towards eliminating toxic substances from consumer products and adopting safer alternatives.

February 15, 2024

Seneca County’s field a federal lawsuit this morning against a former Army depot in New York highlights that the depot’s use of firefighting foam contaminated the county’s drinking water with PFAS, leading to serious health concerns.

Sampling of the plaintiff’s drinking water on September 10, 2019, revealed PFAS levels significantly above New York State’s maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS, with PFOA at 1,360 ppt, PFHxS at 2,790 ppt, and PFHxA at 1,090 ppt.

The complaint underscores that the Seneca Army Depot (SAD) stored and utilized large quantities of aqueous film-forming foam containing PFCs for firefighting and explosion training exercises, knowingly releasing these hard-to-breakdown chemicals into the environment until about 2009 despite awareness of their toxicity.

The PFAS lawsuit alleges that the Department of Defense’s prolonged use of these dangerous substances has led to their infiltration into the air, soil, groundwater, and ultimately, the county’s water supply. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, the lawsuit seeks reimbursement for the costs of investigating this contamination and funding for a water treatment system to eliminate PFAS from Seneca County’s water.

February 14, 2024

Carneys Point Township in New Jersey is seeking to delay the final approval of a significant $393 million settlement between the state and Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC, the American branch of a Belgian chemical company, concerning contamination from “forever chemicals.”

The township argues that the rush to settle the case has led the state and its external legal representatives to overlook legal protocols. Filed motions to intervene by the township aim to stay the settlement’s approval pending the resolution of two additional lawsuits against both the state and Solvay.

The crux of Carneys Point’s argument is that the proposed settlement deviates from the legal requirement for Solvay to establish a $315 million cash trust for remediation, accusing the state of allowing Solvay to circumvent this obligation with a lesser commitment of $214 million in non-cash guarantees and $101 million in cash escrow, which the state can deploy at its discretion.

The township further criticizes the state’s retainer agreement with its external counsel on the grounds of legality, alleging an inappropriate arrangement to pool funds from this and other contamination cases for contingency fees, contrary to legal stipulations limiting attorney fees to 10% of natural resource damages.

February 9, 2024

A North Carolina court has ruled that current subsidiaries and spinoffs originating from the chemical giant E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. may be accountable for alleged contamination from PFAS company.

The context for this ruling is a legal action that accuses these entities, stemming from a lawsuit initiated in 2020, of contributing to pollution affecting the state’s air, land, and water through their activities at the Fayetteville Works chemical plant in North Carolina. The lawsuit names all three DuPont companies, including E.I. du Pont and The Chemours Co., blaming them for the dissemination of PFAS chemicals.

February 2, 2024

The EPA has proposed two significant waste rules aimed at addressing the management of hazardous wastes, including specific PFAS chemicals.

These initiatives would empower the EPA, alongside state and local governments, to mandate investigations and remediation efforts for PFAS contamination.

The most important new rule seeks to classify nine particular PFAS chemicals as hazardous constituents under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enhancing the regulatory framework for managing PFAS-containing waste.

The proposed rules, which will be open for public comment, are part of the EPA’s new hustle to regulate PFAS through multiple legal avenues, including the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

February 1, 2024

A new PFAS lawsuit was filed last week by the Village of Johnson City. It centers on allegations of environmental contamination and damage caused by PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) emanating from the United States Air Force (called Plant 59).

The Village asserts that for six decades, the activities at USAF Plant 59 have created a substantial risk of PFAS contamination to surface soils, sediments, stormwater runoff, and groundwater, ultimately threatening the safety and quality of the Village’s drinking water supply. The lawsuit accuses USAF Plant 59 of knowing or recklessly disregarding the risk that such contamination would substantially harm the Village and its water customers.

This PFAS lawsuit outlines two primary claims:

  1. Continuing Public Nuisance: It is argued that USAF Plant 59’s actions and inactions have unreasonably and significantly interfered with the common rights of the Village and its residents and businesses to a safe source of drinking water. This interference is said to have caused detrimental effects on public health, welfare, safety, comfort, and convenience, thus constituting a public nuisance. The Plant is accused of failing to remove PFAS contamination or to stop its migration to the Village’s water supply, thereby perpetuating this nuisance.
  2. Continuing Trespass: The Village alleges that the PFAS contamination from USAF Plant 59 has unlawfully migrated onto its property used for collecting drinking water, constituting a trespass and unlawful interference with its property rights. The complaint states that USAF Plant 59 has not taken adequate steps to remove the contamination or prevent its ongoing migration, thus continuing the trespass against the Village’s property rights.

The lawsuit seeks various forms of relief, including monetary damages for the continuing trespass and public nuisance, reimbursement for past and future costs incurred by the Village to investigate and mitigate the contamination, payment for or reimbursement of the costs of installing a treatment system to remove PFAS from the Village’s water supply, reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses, and any other relief deemed just and proper by the Court.

There is no question that PFAS contamination at military bases across the United States represents a significant health risk, with some bases showing alarmingly high levels of these hazardous chemicals. For veterans stationed at these locations, unknowing exposure to PFAS and potentially other toxic substances has had health implications.

January 31, 2024

The 3rd Circuit deliberated yesterday on whether the EPA’s health advisory for two PFAS (hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt), known as “GenX chemicals,” constitutes a legal requirement.

The Chemours Company is challenging the 2022 advisory, which suggests that concentrations above ten parts per trillion in drinking water may pose health risks, such as liver abnormalities.

The critical issue in the oral arguments was whether such advisories are regulatory and enforceable. The EPA argued that they are informational, non-enforceable, and not regulatory, as per the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Chemours countered that these advisories have immediate practical implications. It cited an example of a Utah waste permit where compliance with the advisory is enforceable under state or federal law.

We discuss this case more in our January 2nd update below.

This is a big ruling. It will probably come faster than most 3rd Circuit rulings.

January 28, 2024

  • Which military bases pose the greatest risk of PFAS?

  • Altus Air Force Base (Oklahoma): 1 million ppt
  • Barksdale Air Force Base (Louisiana): 1 million ppt
  • Charleston Air Force Base (South Carolina): 1 million ppt
  • England Air Force Base (Louisiana): 21 million ppt
  • Langley Air Force Base (Virginia): 2 million ppt
  • Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (South Carolina): 3 million ppt
  • Naval Air Station Jacksonville (Florida): 1 million ppt
  • Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (California): 8 million ppt
  • Patrick Air Force Base (Florida): 4 million ppt
  • Port Hueneme Naval Base (California): 1 million ppt

January 26, 2024

Today is a step forward in addressing the PFAS problem. The EPA is set to release a comprehensive list of PFAS substances that companies must report under a new regulation. This regulation mandates companies to submit extensive data encompassing over a decade of information on production, use, worker exposure, health impacts, and other relevant aspects of these chemicals.

January 23, 2024

In a new PFAS water contamination lawsuit, a group of long-time residents of North Alabama allege they unknowingly ingested water contaminated with PFAS chemicals released by the defendants. This contamination resulted in various diseases for each plaintiff, including pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and hypothyroidism, as a consequence of their exposure.

The plaintiffs in Cowart v. 3M seek damages and relief from the defendants for their negligent and willful discharge of PFAS chemicals into the Tennessee River, which contaminated the plaintiffs’ water and caused their illnesses.

January 19, 2024

The Sixth Circuit Court will not reconsider a previous decision that vacated class certification for a lawsuit involving 11 million Ohio residents against 3M Co. and other companies. The residents accused these companies of selling products containing harmful “forever chemicals.” The decision not to rehear the case was confirmed by a recent order, which indicated that no judge requested a vote for a rehearing.

See the November 28th update below for more information.

January 18, 2024

The CDC has ignored the PFAS problem for years. Not anymore. Now, they have updated their recommendations for healthcare professionals on how to test and treat individuals who have been exposed to  PFAS.

The new Clinician Guidelines on PFAS highlight the current gaps in scientific understanding regarding the impact of PFAS exposure and emphasize the absence of established medical treatments to reduce the levels of these harmful substances in the bloodstream.

January 16, 2024

U.S. District Judge Araceli Martínez-Olguín of the Northern District of California has dismissed two class action lawsuits alleging that certain tampon brands contain harmful “forever chemicals.” a ruled ”n favor of Edgewell Personal Care, finding the cases concerning O.B. Organic and Playtex Gentle Glide product lines lacking in substantial evidence.

The judge noted that the plaintiffs on alleged testing for per and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), were insufficiently detailed, lacking specific results or findings to support them. The judge also found that references to patent applications and product labels, which plaintiffs argued implied the presence of these chemicals, were speculative and failed to establish a plausible link to the presence of PFAS in the tampons.

January 11, 2024

A woman has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Health-Ade LLC in federal court in New York, alleging that the company deceptively markets its kombucha drinks as health products despite containing harmful levels of PFAS. This lawsuit is part of many legal actions concerning PFAS in various consumer items. Independent lab tests revealed PFAS chemicals in Health-Ade Ginger Pineapple Belly Reset and four other products. Morton asserts that PFAS exposure is linked to severe health risks, including cancer and liver damage, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The plaintiff’ in the class action is that she was misled by the company’s promotion of kombucha as supporting health, a happy gut, and being natural and organic. She argues that no reasonable consumer would expect a health-marketed product to contain dangerous PFAS, and she would not have purchased it if she had been aware of the substances and their risks.

January 10, 2024

In the lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the plaintiff seeks to hold Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard, Inc., and several other defendants responsible for injuries he alleges were caused by their products. Specifically, the victim claims that these companies manufactured and sold per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or products containing PFAS, including aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which led him to develop testicular cancer.

The man asserts that he was exposed to elevated levels of PFAS in his drinking water provided by the City of Wood River, where he was born and raised in Madison County, Illinois. So he hired a PFAS water contamination lawyer to file a lawsuit. He alleges that PFAS was discharged into the air and the water in the area where he lived. His claims focus on the impact of PFAS in AFFF, a product used by some defendants, including Tyco, which was manufactured by military specifications (MilSpec AFFF).

Based on Tyco’s claim under the federal “government“ contractor” defense, the case has been moved from the state court to the federal court. This defense, which is garbage and will not carry the day, argues that they are not liable for torts related to the design and manufacture of MilSpec AFFF because their actions were in line with military specifications and requirements. This defense is consistently misused, and this case is no exception.

January 8, 2024

Companies and industrial sectors in Maine that use PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their products must notify the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) by March 1.

This notification is the first step in complying with a state law that, effective January 1, 2030, will ban the sale and distribution of any product containing intentionally added PFAS unless the DEP deems it essential.

The DEP will create a draft list of products with essential PFAS uses by May, ahead of formal rulemaking.

Maine adopted this approach in 2021, becoming the first state to implement the European concept of restricting PFAS use to essential applications only. The law’s disclose requirements led to requests for additional time from thousands of domestic and international businesses, including prominent companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Campbell Soup, and Yamaha. These requests were partly due to delays in the state clarifying industry obligations, leading to a postponement of the disclosure mandate.

Notable PFAS compounds reported include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), classified as a human carcinogen, perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), known to harm the liver, and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. The law aims to limit PFAS usage to essential applications only, considering the associated health risks.

January 5, 2024

As you probably remember, DuPont, Chemours Co., and Corteva Inc. have proposed a $1.185 billion settlement to address national PFAS contamination issues.

The settlement is moving along nicely. Only seven out of more than 14,000 drinking water utilities have objected to this proposed settlement:

  • Broward County, Florida
  • City of Newburgh, New York
  • Widefield Water and Sanitation District, Colorado
  • City of Tacoma, Washington
  • City of Vancouver, Washington
  • North Texas Municipal Water District
  • City of DuPont, Washington

This is one of a few objections out of 4,000. Judge Gergel still needs to approve the settlement. But everyone seems to think that is a done deal, especially now.

But this settlement is not the end of the road. Less than 10% of plaintiffs are included in these preliminary settlements. Other plaintiff groups, including those in bellwether lawsuits against companies that produced PFAS-containing products, continue to move forward with their claims. These include lawsuits focusing on health impacts and environmental damage caused by PFAS exposure.

Additionally, attorneys representing 28 US states and territories have proposed a joint approach to address common legal issues raised by these governments. Their claims focus on public health and environmental harm, product liability, and allegations of illegal marketing practices related to PFAS products. They want to break off their claims, which I think would be good news for all plaintiffs.

January 4, 2023

Will AFFF settle in 2024?

January 3, 2024

There is a lot of anger about PFAS in orange juice. But these are not viable lawsuits (yet).

January 2, 2024

Chemours Co. is seeking a judicial review of a recent EPA regulation that imposes restrictions on hydrofluorocarbons in several industries. This rule, introduced in October, explicitly targets using HFCs in refrigeration, air conditioning, foam production, and aerosol products.

HFCs are awful, maybe thousands of times worse for the environment than carbon dioxide. The new rule also establishes a procedure for submitting and assessing petitions to limit HFC usage in particular sectors, sets compliance deadlines for these restrictions, and bans the production of specific equipment that utilizes HFCs known for their high global warming potentials.

January 1, 2024

The Chemours Co. has reached an agreement with the EPA to perform environmental sampling for PFAS around its Washington Works facility in Washington, W.V. This arrangement, made under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), mandates Chemours to conduct comprehensive analyses of soil, surface water, sediment, groundwater, and waste produced by the facility.

The objective is to assess the extent of contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The EPA intends to ensure that Chemours implements necessary measures based on the sampling outcomes to enhance the protection of nearby communities against these persistent environmental contaminants, commonly referred to as “forever chemicals.”

December 13, 2023

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has expedited the review of Inhance Technologies LLC’s challenge to LLC’s to the EPA.

These orders, set to take effect on February 28, 2024, demand Inhance to cease its PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) production, a process involving fluorine gas on plastic containers. Inhance filed for this review on December 8, contesting the EPA’s directive  on December 1. Concerned about the potential bankruptcy before the appeal.  Inhance sought a speedy appeal and a stay on the orders, which the EPA, bending over backward to be fair, agreed not to oppose. So the Fifth Circuit has put these orders on hold.

Inhance Technologies uses a specific process to fluorinate plastic containers. The EPA is putting its foot down because it believes this releases harmful PFAS chemicals. In December 2023, the EPA ordered Inhance to stop this process, potentially putting their business at risk.

Inhance disputes the EPA’s order, claiming they lack scientific backing and are unjust. They have initiated legal action, contending:

  1. The EPA failed to adhere to correct protocols in issuing the directives.
  2. The case against their methods is insubstantial and does not warrant an abrupt cessation of operations.
  3. The implementation of these orders would cause significant harm to their business and interrupt supply chains.

The EPA has filed sealed orders elaborating on the risks posed by some PFAS and the scientific studies Inhance must conduct for permission to resume PFAS production. These orders discuss the potential health and environmental risks of PFAS found in various consumer and industrial products.

The district court will hold a video conference soon to manage this case further.

December 11, 2023

This PFAS risk to our military is finally getting more attention. The upcoming defense policy bill mandates greater transparency from the Pentagon regarding its cleanups of PFAS.

The bill includes over $1 billion for environmental remediation of PFAS and other contaminants at military sites. It requires detailed reporting on PFAS-related expenditures, including testing, remediation, disposal, and community outreach. The Department of Defense (DoD) must also provide the Armed Services Committees with a schedule for PFAS testing and cleanup, including cost estimates. The bill also calls for a Government Accountability Office assessment of the DoD’s PFAS designations and remediation efforts.

There is no question that there has been frustration over slow and inadequate responses at military sites. The Camp Lejeune lawsuits helped bring issues to the forefront. Certainly, this is not enough, but it’s a start.

December 8, 2023

New EPA data reveals that 44 million Americans are exposed to PFAS, toxic “forever chemicals,” in their drinking water, based on tests. This data, part of the EPA’s Contaminant Monitoring Rule, indicates widespread PFAS contamination, which is believed to be more extensive than reported. Environmental Working Group studies suggest over 200 million Americans might be affected. The EPA continues to collect data, with more results expected by 2025, highlighting the urgent need for action against PFAS contamination.

December 6, 2023

Minnesota focuses on preventing PFAS pollution as a more cost-effective strategy than treatment. The state highlights the high costs of treating wastewater for PFAS, which is unaffordable compared to the state budget. Current efforts include identifying PFAS sources, reducing their entry into wastewater plants, and exploring treatment methods like supercritical water oxidation. Additionally, Minnesota is enacting laws to ban non-essential PFAS uses, recognizing pollution prevention as significantly more efficient than engineered solutions.

December 5, 2023

In Rhode Island, the Department of Health has proposed a new regulation concerning public drinking water (216-RICR-50-05-1). This regulation introduces new guidelines for monitoring and managing contamination levels in drinking water.

Key among these guidelines is requiring any newly built or significantly modified wells to conduct tests, including checks for PFAS levels. Should these tests reveal PFAS concentrations exceeding 20 parts per trillion (ppt), there is a mandatory obligation to notify the relevant authorities.

To put this “ppt” in context, one part per trillion equals one trillionth of a whole. So one part per trillion is like one drop of water diluted into 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

December 4, 2023

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Inhance Technologies LLC to cease production of three highly toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) due to significant public health risks. The directive, effective February 28, 2024, also extends to another six PFAS that result from a process used to strengthen plastic containers, which inadvertently generate toxic chemicals like PFOA, PFNA, and PFDA.

This decision follows a 2020 investigation initiated by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which revealed the presence of PFAS in a pesticide on plastic containers. The EPA’s action is a step in the right direction. It needs to do more.

December 1, 2023

The IRAC has declared that Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) causes human cancer. Another PFOS has been classified as “possibly “carcinogenic to humans.” These findings were published in the Lancet Oncology.

This update from IARC marks a change from its 2016 stance on PFOA, previously considered “possibly “carcinogenic,” and represents the agency’s agency’s view of PFOS.

This is a pretty big deal.

November 30, 2023

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rescinded its approval for Chemours Co. to import waste materials containing PFAS from its factory in the Netherlands to a facility in North Carolina. This decision, communicated via email to Bloomberg Law, comes after considerable scrutiny and pressure from local, state, federal, and international entities. This scrutiny arose following the EPA’s initial EPA’s conditional approval in September for importing these wastes, which Chemours intended to recycle.

November 29, 2023

Ohio has reached a proposed $110 million settlement with DuPont de Nemours Inc., The Chemours Co., and Corteva Inc.

This settlement addresses the state’s claims these companies for the environmental damage caused by their discharge of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the air and water from 1950 to 2013.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and other state officials have hailed the settlement as a significant victory for environmental restoration efforts.

November 28, 2023

Yesterday, the 6th Circuit dismissed a PFAS class action lawsuit. The lawsuit – with Kevin Hardwick as the lead plaintiff – centered around trace amounts of five chemicals in his bloodstream, part of a widely used family in modern life. He could not identify the manufacturers of these chemicals or determine if they might cause future illness. Furthermore, he currently shows no sickness or symptoms from these chemicals.

Despite the lack of specific allegations against individual defendants, Hardwick filed a contaminated water lawsuit against ten companies, seeking to represent a huge class – nearly every person residing in the United States. The district court had earlier certified a class of about 11.8 million Ohio residents.

The defendants appealed, arguing that Hardwick lacked the standing to bring this case. The Sixth Circuit agreed with this argument and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss it, citing insufficient basis and lack of standing.

November 7, 2023

The EPA has completed the development of new regulations targeting companies that have used PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their products.

This update was incorporated into the Toxic Substances Control Act, mandating that companies that have produced PFAS since early 2011 must now provide comprehensive reports to the EPA. These reports should detail usage, production volume, byproducts, disposal methods, and exposure levels.

September 30, 2022

Earlier this year, a consumer class action lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s that the fast-food icon has been selling food in packaging that contains harmful chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS are notoriously toxic to the human body, and studies have linked exposure to PFAS to various types of cancer, hormone abnormalities, and reproductive complications.

This PFAS lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Illinois and alleges that McDonald’s represented to consumers that its food packaging is safe, sustainable, and non-toxic. McDonald’s motion to dismiss over the summer, challenging the validity of the plaintiff’s standing to represent the proposed class of consumers. The plaintiffs filed a response in opposition last week, and a hearing should be set in November.

September 21, 2022

3M and Wolverine World Wide agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $54 million that alleges they caused the release of PFAS chemicals into the environment in Kent County, Michigan.

September 9, 2022

PFAS may increase levels, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

September 6, 2022

The EPA proposed last week to ban twelve PFAS that formerly were pesticide ingredients. The proposal would remove them from the EPA’s list of ingredients approved for use in pesticide products.

August 5, 2022

Opening statements on money in Washington state in another trial that claims Bayer/Monsanto caused neurological injuries to teachers and students at a school in western Washington.

July 28, 2022

A new study in the journal Exposure and Health tells us that two PFAS – perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – will cost us billions of dollars (and untold patient suffering) from cancer and other diseases.

This week, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommended that doctors test patients at risk for high PFAS levels.

July 25, 2022

Coty and Noxell fought back against a class action lawsuit that claims these makeup manufacturers misled consumers that CoverGirl TruBlend Pressed Powder was safe, arguing in federal court in California that the plaintiffs suffered no physical injury. They claim the lawsuit’s claims about PFAS in the product were too general to support a claim.

About PFAS

PFAS are per-fluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. These synthetic chemicals are known for their ability to resist grease, water, and oils. The two most common types of PFAS are perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”) an“ perluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”).

PFAS has been around for over 60 years and during that time they have been widely used in a number for a number of industrial and consumer purposes. PFAS were used in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, cleaning products, and paints. The most significant use of PFAS, however, was in aqueous film-forming foam (“AFFF”) commonly called firefighting foam.

PFAS are called “forever chemicals” because ”hey have proven highly resistant to almost any environmental degradation. As a result, when PFAS are introduced into the environment, they never degrade, get diluted, or go away.

PFAS Contamination in Groundwater

In recent years, environmental studies and testing have identified widespread PFAS contamination of groundwater across the United States. Groundwater is highly susceptible to PFAS contamination because of these chemical properties.

PFAS can easily be released into the environment at any location where the chemicals are manufactured, used, disposed of or spilled. PFAS are highly mobile chemicals so once released into the environment they are easily transported by rainwater run-off. By this route, PFAS end up in lakes, ponds and reservoirs. PFAS also seep through the soil (where they are not filtered like other chemicals) and end up in the groundwater.

Groundwater contamination with PFAS is widespread near areas where PFAS were manufactured. Water contamination is also highly likely near locations where PFAS products were regularly used or disposed of. For example, airports are frequent contamination sites because firefighting foam is frequently used in training exercises. Once the firefighting foam is sprayed, the PFAS make their way into the groundwater with minimal dilution.

Drinking Water Standards

Drinking water standards have existed in the United States for over 100 years. The U.S. Public Health Service promulgated drinking water standards in 1914, focusing on bacterial plate count and coliform bacteria.

The understanding of what made drinking water unsafe continued to evolve. Some inorganic constituents were added in 1925 and 1942.

The standard 1963 reference Water Quality Criteria sets out the commonly understood water pollutants of that time. Even then trichloroethylene (or TCE) was understood to cause health consequences. The main chapter lists chlorinated hydrocarbons as a chemical family and potential pollutants, such as TCE.

TCE and Drinking Water

TCE is the most common organic contaminant in groundwater, the source of 93% of public water systems. TCE is present in up to one-third of our drinking water sources.

TCE levels in private wells (used for crop irrigation and drinking water for about 10% of Americans) are not monitored. Contact with TCE can be elevated for people using TCE-containing cleaning products, residents of some industrialized areas, or people living near facilities where TCE is released in a sanctioned or unsanctioned manner into the soil, groundwater, and/or drinking water wells.

Safe Drinking Water Act and MCLs

In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act mandated primary and secondary drinking water standards. Under the law, maximum contamination levels (MCLs) were set for different chemicals.

An MCL is an enforceable, health-protective regulatory standard that the Environmental Protection Agency sets as the highest level of contaminant that is allowed in public drinking water. The MCL is calibrated to the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG). The MCLG carcinogens are zero.

MCLs focus on pesticides, trihalomethanes, and specific chlorinated solvents, such as vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene dichloroethylene, or benzene (all significant issues in the Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit about to get underway).

PFAS Are Linked to Cancer and Other Health Hazards

Current scientific research has determined that long-term exposure to high levels of PFAS can lead to cancer and other adverse health conditions. Scientific studies have conclusively found that exposure to PFAS at certain levels can lead to:

  • Increased risk of prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and testicular cancer.
  • Damage to reproductive health, including infertility
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Developmental problems in children, including loss of bone density and accelerated puberty
  • Immune system problems
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Thyroid disease

The development of cancer and other health conditions can occur years after individual exposure to PFAS.

In 2016, the National Toxicology Program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“NTP”) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) both released extensive analyses of the expanding body of research regarding the adverse effects of PFAS. The NTP concluded that both PFOA and PFOS are “presumed “o be an immune hazard to humans” based on ”a “consistent pattern of findings” of adverse immune effects in human (epidemiology) studies and “high confidence” that PFO” and PFOS exposure was 28 associated with suppression of immune responses in animal (toxicology) studies.

IARC similarly concluded that there is “evidence “of “the ”acidogenicity of . . . PFOA” in human” and experimental animals, meaning that “[a] positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer for which a causal interpretation is credible.”

Location” of PFAS Water Contamination

PFAS water contamination has been discovered across the U.S. As of October 2021, 2,854 locations in the United States were confirmed as known PFAS water contamination sites. PFAS contamination has been found not only in groundwater sources but also in numerous municipal water supply systems. PFAS has contaminated municipal water systems in 33 states and groundwater in 38 states. An estimated 16 million people have been exposed to drinking water contaminated with PFAS.

The most common locations for PFAS water contamination are near military bases, industrial sites, and airports. Firefighting foam has been used in training exercises at U.S. military bases and commercial airports for decades. This foam eventually made its way into the water systems. A 2020 Department of Defense report identified 600 military sites and surrounding areas with PFAS water contamination.

pfas contamination sites

DOD Report Shows Widespread PFAS Water Contamination at Military Bases

As you can see from this image, there is no question that water contamination on and near military bases is a problem. Last week, the Department of Defense released a report detailing the results of a testing program to evaluate the quality of water supply at and near U.S. military bases in seven states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Montana, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Virginia). The testing was performed on drinking water samples for off-base locations adjacent to or “down gradient” from military bases or facilities.

The DOD water testing report reveals that the drinking water in many of these off-base locations is highly contaminated with PFAS. Testing near seven military installations found that the water supply had PFAS well over 70 parts per billion, the maximum safe level set by the EPA. The PFAS contamination at these locations is primarily the result of training operations using firefighting foam containing PFAS.

The seven specific military sites named in the DOD report as having water supply PFAS levels over 70 ppb included the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania, the Camp Grayling Army Airfield in Michigan, and the Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island in Washington. PFAS have been found in the water supply at almost 400 military bases around the country, and environmental activist groups say that contamination is suspected, but not confirmed, at hundreds of additional sites.

PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuits

Over the last several years, a growing number of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of PFAS and products containing PFAS. These lawsuits have been filed both by local municipalities alleging that their water systems were polluted and by individuals who claim that they developed cancer or other health conditions from drinking contaminated water.

The defendants in these PFAS water contamination lawsuits include many large chemical manufacturers and other industrial companies. Some of the most prominent companies named primary defendants in the PFAS water contamination lawsuits include 3M & Co. and DuPont. 3M manufactured and sold AFFF firefighting foam containing PFAS from 1970 to 2012. DuPont and its corporate spin-offs have manufactured PFAS and supplied them to other companies, like 3M, since the 1940s.

In addition to the PFAS lawsuits being filed by municipalities, thousands of individuals have filed their own PFAS water contamination lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that the plaintiffs consumed drinking water contaminated by PFAS and developed cancer and other adverse health conditions as a result of this exposure to PFAS in their water supply.

Our la””ers are looking at PFAS lawsuits with the following injuries diagnosed after January 1, 2000

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Our attorneys are also focused on specific geographic regions for a PFAS lawsuit:

  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • California (20 miles from San Jose or East Los Angeles)
  • Ohio (20 miles from Cleveland)
  • Colorado (20 miles from Denver or Colorado Springs)
  • Minnesota (20 miles of Minneapolis)

Estimated Settlement Value of PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuits

The PFAS water contamination lawsuits will likely be resolved in a global settlement. In these settlements, the defendants pay a large sum of money to resolve all pending cases. The amount of settlement money that individual plaintiffs receive is based on a tiered system in which plaintiffs are ranked based on specific criteria (severity of injuries, the strength of claim, etc.).

In the PFAS water contamination lawsuits, plaintiffs in the top settlement tier will be those with long-term exposure and a diagnosis of severe, advanced-stage cancers that have been closely linked to PFAS. These would include kidney, prostate, and testicular cancer. Second-tier plaintiffs will be those with less severe health conditions.

Based on global settlements in previous mass tort cases involving similar claims, we estimate that top-tier PFAS water contamination lawsuits could have a settlement value of around $150,000 to $375,000. Second-tier cases may have a value range of $75,000 to $180,000.

Getting a PFAS Water Contamination Lawyer

Our law firm represents contaminated drinking water victims on a contingency fee basis. For you, there is no out-of-pocket cost or risk for you to hire a lawyer to fight for you. Our PFAS attorneys receive no fees or expenses unless a financial recovery is obtained.

Call our PFAS lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a no-obligation free consultation online.