Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
A growing number of lawsuits and regulations are targeting PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and the companies manufacturing these chemicals.
· PFAs are man-made chemicals often described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down naturally in the environment.
· These chemicals are used in a wide range of products, including non-stick pans, textiles, cosmetics, food packaging, and firefighting foam.
· Some potential health effects have been shown, but more studies are needed to fully understand the impact PFAS have on human health.
While companies are already facing environmental and personal injury claims for the use of these products, a recent North Carolina federal lawsuit is the latest in a string of lawsuits alleging property damage due to ground water contamination. In their Complaint filed on May 20, 2020, more than 200 Plaintiffs are seeking compensation as a result of contamination surrounding Defendants’ (DuPont and Chemours Co.) Fayetteville, North Carolina facility.
Plaintiffs allege private nuisance, trespass to real property, and negligence. They are seeking compensation related to ongoing damage to their property, including:
· Reduced property values as a result of the contamination;
· Loss of agriculture use of their property; and
· Costs associated with obtaining uncontaminated water through filtration systems or the use of bottled water for drinking, cooking, and daily hygiene.
The case is James O’Brien et al. v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Co. et al., 5:20-cv-00208 (E.D. NC 2020).