The bellwether municipal drinking water case in the AFFF multi-district litigation was brought by the City of Stuart, Florida, based on PFAS in the city’s water supply. The city’s bid for damages from the AFFF manufacturers was strengthened last month when the court largely denied the manufacturers’ motions for summary judgment. The manufacturers sought summary judgment on the city’s private nuisance claim and certain damages claims, including future operation and maintenance costs and soil remediation costs. Additionally, DuPont/Chemours argued that the city could not tie its PFAS to DuPont/Chemours’ products specifically, and that DuPont/Chemours, as an “upstream manufacturer,” had no duty to warn under the “sophisticated user” doctrine. The court rejected all the defendants’ arguments except as to private nuisance, reasoning that Florida law does not allow a nuisance claim based on the design, manufacture, and distribution of a lawful product. Recently, it has been reported that DuPont/Chemours and 3M Company have reached settlement deals with Stuart and similarly situated municipalities in the AFFF litigation, but those deals are not yet final.
In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2:18-mn-2873-RMG (D.S.C. May 5, 2023; May 19, 2023)