New Class Certifications in Toxic Tort / Environmental Litigation May Be Indicative Of A Larger Trend

It is well-known in toxic tort and environmental legal circles that plaintiffs have inherent difficulties when seeking to certify a class of “injured” plaintiffs. Individualized issues of causation, exposure, and damages pervade just about all cases — and courts have long recognized this. Our blog posted recently on the medical monitoring PFOA class action in upstate New York that was certified in early July 2018 (i.e., Burdick v. Tonoga). That case is a clear outlier as it may be the
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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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