PFAS Litigation Updates



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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EPA and DuPont Stipulate to Dismiss a Third-Circuit-Appeal Following EPA Releasing DuPont From Test Order Requirements

Counsel for the EPA and DuPont submitted a joint stipulation of dismissal for an appeal filed in the Third Circuit involving an EPA Test Order that previously required DuPont to comply with testing deadlines and other requirements for 6:2 FTSB and HFPO – different types of PFAS chemicals. The EPA released DuPont from the testing requirements after the chemical company successfully established that: (a) it does not manufacture or process the relevant PFAS chemicals; (b) it does not intend to manufacture or process and has not manufactured or processed the relevant PFAS chemicals during the 10 years preceding the Test Order; (c) it is not responsible for any historic or ongoing activities involving the relevant PFAS chemicals; and (d) it is not a “corporate successor in interest” that may be responsible for satisfying the Test Order’s requirements.

May 18, 2023 | In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation Case No. 2:18-mm-2873-RMG (D.S.C.)

South Carolina Federal Court Denies DuPont’s and Other Companies’ Motion for Summary Judgement Seeking to Limit Liability in PFAS-Related MDL Case

The U.S. District Court in South Carolina denied DuPont’s and other companies’ motion for summary judgment seeking to limit their liability in a multi-district litigation case involving alleged PFAS contamination in aqueous film-forming foams (“AFFF”). Despite arguments to the contrary, the Court concluded that the claim against the defendants contained at least one question that was ripe for the jury – namely the defendants’ duty to warn of alleged PFAS in AFFF.

May 17, 2023 | Acosta v. 3M Co. et al. Case No. 1:23-cv-03068 (E.D. Wash.)

Washington Residents File Suit Against Chemical Companies For Alleged Groundwater PFAS Contamination

Washington residents filed suit against 3M Co. and other companies for alleged PFAS contamination in groundwater in due to the use of aqueous film-forming foam and its component products in Yakima County, Washington. Plaintiff complained that the alleged PFAS contamination began in the 1960s and continues to present date.

May 11, 2023 | Coosa River Basin Initiative v. Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. et al. Case No. 4:23-cv-00088-WMR (N.D. Ga.)

Clean Water Act Case Results in Consent Decree

A Georgia district judge recently entered a consent decree resolving Clean Water Act claims brought by an environmental non-profit organization against a textile plant (Mount Vernon Mills) and a local town (Trion, Georgia).  According to the non-profit, the plant and town were liable under the Clean Water Act because the town—in treating the plant’s wastewater, which contained PFAS—discharged PFAS into a local river.  To resolve the suit, the parties entered into the consent decree, which requires the plant to take steps to permanently eliminate its use of PFAS and to incinerate all PFAS-containing wastewater in the interim.  The consent decree further provides that the plant and town shall each pay $5,000 in civil penalties to the federal government.

Coosa River Basin Initiative v. Mount Vernon Mills Inc. et al., No. 4:23-cv-00088 (N.D. Ga. May 11, 2023).

DOJ’s TSCA Case Takes Precedence

A District of Columbia district judge recently dismissed a citizens enforcement action brought by two environmental non-profit groups against Inhance Technologies USA for its alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Specifically, the non-profit groups alleged that Inhance—a plastics company that specializes in fluorinating plastic storage containers—violated, and continues to violate, TSCA because Inhance allegedly produces PFAS as part of its fluorination process without first completing the regulatory process necessary to produce PFAS.  The district court, however, concluded that the citizens suit should be dismissed, without prejudice, because TSCA does not permit a citizens suit where, as here, the Department of Justice was diligently prosecuting a previously-filed lawsuit pursuing the same violations.  The district court left open the possibility that the non-profit groups could re-file their suit if the Department of Justice’s conduct suggests that it is no longer diligently pursuing its case.

Center for Environmental Health et al. v. Inhance Technologies USA, No. 1:22-cv-03819 (D.D.C. Apr. 6, 2023).