Another State Takes a Seat at the PFAS Table – Developments in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

As an emerging issue touching most corners of the country, our firm’s lawyers report on everything PFAS. Although New York and New Jersey — the latter being one of the leaders on PFAS action — are popular subjects, we come to you today with an update from their neighbor: the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A state without its own PFAS regulations, it has been taking meaningful steps in the last few months to investigate these substances. On September 19, 2018,
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ATSDR PFAS Update: No Final Report Yet, But Further Guidance on Minimal Risk Levels and Drinking Water Concentrations

As most of our readers know, our firm has written extensively on PFAS, and we recently gave a 30 minute, free webinar on the important findings of the ATSDR’s toxicological profile on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The webinar discussed the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s role in setting minimal risk levels (MRLs) for toxic substances, including comprehensive analyses of selected contaminants that are deemed most harmful to human health. Because the PFAS profile is perhaps the most
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Feed It Once And Now It Stays: Another National PFAS Class Action Seeking A Study Rather Than Money

It’s been written about exhaustively in PFAS circles: the C8 Science Panel and its “probable link” findings between PFOA and various diseases. This was a groundbreaking study that was part of a settlement agreement in watershed litigation that ultimately led to a whopping $671 million payout for over 3,000 individual plaintiffs. The defendant, DuPont, had not only agreed to the creation of an independent panel of experts to evaluate any link between exposure to PFOA and human disease, but it
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EPA’s Slow March Towards Federal Regulation of PFAS

In May, we reported on developments involving a case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania involving water contamination and exposure to per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS is a family of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA (and many others). The chemicals are commonly found in many consumer products, including stick-proof food packaging, waterproof clothing, and non-stick cookware. The plaintiffs in the PA case alleged that aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) used for firefighting drills at the Naval
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PFAS Alert: New York State Court Certifies PFOA Class Action

On July 3, 2018, a state court in New York certified a class action lawsuit that involves residents of Petersburgh, New York who claim exposure to varying levels of the chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is in the class of chemicals known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances and was used to make heat, water, and stain resistant household and commercial products. Think Teflon, Scotchgard, GORE-TEX, fast food wrappers, etc. This is the first class action matter that’s been certified in the State of New York that involves
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Bystanders Beware – No Strict Products Liability Claims for Bystanders in AFFF / PFAS Actions in Pennsylvania

Lawsuits involving water contamination have been trending over the past couple years throughout the United States. We’ve seen a shift in the plaintiff’s bar’s focus from pursuing point sources to utilizing traditional product liability theories to support allegations of contamination against manufacturer defendants when the opportunity presents itself. The blue print’s simple – pursue deep pocketed manufacturers where insurance is often available. The product liability lawsuits against manufacturers of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) – a firefighting foam utilized at airports
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Strictly Business: Court Opens Door to PFOA Lawsuit for Purely Economic Damages

On February 20, 2018, a federal court in New York expanded the universe of plaintiffs who can sue for PFOA contamination in that state. The court ruled that plaintiffs could seek purely economic damages in negligence claims based on PFOA contamination, so long as the plaintiff’s business is located within the “zone of contamination.” As readers of this blog may be aware, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) is a man-made chemical used, among other things, to make fabrics water- and stain-resistant. Originally
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PFAS Update: DuPont and Chemours Hit With Another Suit in Ohio

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed suit against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont) and its spinoff The Chemours Company (Chemours) for the release of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), also known as C8, into the Ohio River.  The current suit alleges that between 1951 and 2013 DuPont released toxic chemicals from its Washington Works plant, a 1,200-acre facility along the Ohio River, which forms the border between Ohio and West Virginia.  The lawsuit alleges that DuPont’s internal
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PFAS Update — Hudson Valley City Authorizes its City Council to Commence Suit Involving PFOS Contamination to Drinking Water Supply

The City of Newburgh, New York has had enough. After the city’s water supply was shut down following contamination by perfluorooctane sulfonate, a toxic chemical known as PFOS, residents have authorized its city council to commence a lawsuit against the alleged contaminator, a nearby Air National Guard Base. PFOS, and the related chemical PFOA (both of which are part of the class of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFASs) was first discovered in Newburgh’s water supply in mid-2016. Washington
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The PFOA/PFOS Conversation Moves from New Jersey to New York

In November, we reported on New Jersey’s adoption of the lowest Maximum Contaminant Limits (14 parts per trillion) for PFOAs (perfluorooctanoic acid) in the nation. And a few weeks ago, we reported on the New Jersey scientists that are urging the state to impose a strict limit of 13 ppt for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) as the level at which human health would be protected over a lifetime of exposure. Now we move to New York. In September 2017, New York
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