PFAS Litigation Updates

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The world of PFAS litigation is quickly evolving. As regulatory scrutiny of these compounds increases, so, too, will the body of associated case law. From class actions to multidistrict litigation, this section will regularly highlight developments in PFAS-related litigation.

Content in this section does not reflect the opinion of Alston & Bird or its attorneys.

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California Groundwater Agency PFAS Lawsuit Joins South Carolina MDL

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California claims that DuPont, 3M, and others polluted Los Angeles County’s drinking water. The District intends to spend $43 million to build plants that will remediate PFAS pollution, according to the complaint, and seeks to recover damages the District alleges they caused through the production of PFAS, including investigation, monitoring, assessing, and clean-up of the allegedly polluted water.

November 8, 2021 | Water Replenishment District of Southern California v. 3M, et al., MDL No. 2873 (D.S.C.)

3M Reaches $12 Million Settlement to End Proposed Alabama Class Action

3M reached a $12 million settlement with Alabama’s West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority consumers who alleged 3M polluted their drinking water. The settlement is intended to compensate “ratepayers, household members and household owners” for the water distributed to homes by five water utilities from October 2013 through September 2016, when the suit was filed.

October 26, 2021 | Lindsey, et al. v. 3M, et al., No. 5:15-cv-01750-AKK (N.D.AL.)

Settlement Reached in Tennessee River PFAS Case for $99 Million

3M has reached a settlement agreement of $99 million related to claims that one of its largest manufacturing plants has been discharging hazardous and solid waste containing PFAS into the Tennessee River in Alabama. This settlement agreement will resolve lawsuits from the Tennessee Riverkeeper as well as a state court class action from local residents and further end negotiations with Alabama’s city of Decatur and Morgan County, where the Plant is located. The settlement money is intended to go toward community redevelopment and recreation projects, including ball fields and a new public recreational facility and also will continue to address PFAS at the sites where the substance was released, including installation of a liner and cap in parts of the Morgan County landfill and reimbursement of costs previously incurred for PFAS remediation.

October 19, 2021

New Jersey Water Claims Survive Motion to Dismiss

New Jersey federal district court judge Madeline Cox Arleo denied DuPont and Corteva’s jurisdictional arguments and allowed water utility Suez Water New Jersey’s claims for public nuisance, economic injury, and product liability design-defect and failure-to-warn to survive the motion to dismiss.

October 14, 2021 | Suez Water New Jersey, Inc. v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours, et al., No. 20-19906 (D.N.Y.)

Federal Court Dismisses Investor Suit Against 3M Related to PFAS Liability Risk

Judge Nancy E. Brasel of the District Court of Minnesota dismissed an investor suit against 3M, ruling that stockholders had not met the heightened pleading burden established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act to proceed with allegations that 3M hid its liability risk related to PFAS. Judge Brasel determined that the complaint failed to establish that 3M’s financial statements knowingly downplayed the likely chance of further liabilities incurring from 3M’s historic manufacture of PFAS chemicals.

September 30, 2021 | In re 3M Company Securities Litigation No. 20-cv-2488 (D.MN.)