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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Ohio Couple Sues DuPont and Chemours For Injury Allegedly Linked to PFOA Exposure

Plaintiffs, a couple residing in Washington County, Ohio, sued DuPont and Chemours following the husband’s kidney cancer diagnosis. The lawsuit references an earlier class action, settled in 2006, related to groundwater and surface water PFOA contamination resulting from operations at a West Virginia manufacturing facility. As part of the settlement, DuPont allegedly agreed that, if an independent science panel found a “probable link” between a certain diagnosis and PFOA exposure, class members with such diagnoses would have independent causes of action. The science panel found a ”probable link” between PFOA exposure and kidney cancer, and Plaintiffs sued.

June 1, 2020 Crawford v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., 2:20-cv-02824 (S.D. Ohio)

NY Firefighters File Sprawling Putative Class Action over Foam

Three firefighters from New York State have filed a putative class action against PFAS and AFFF manufacturers under CAFA. The firefighters seek to maintain two classes—personal injury and medical monitoring—on behalf of all individuals currently or formerly employed as firefighters. The firefighters also argue “market share liability” attaches to all defendants, such that liability of each should be assigned according to its percentage of the market.

May 27, 2020 Gentile v. 3M Co., No. 1:20-cv-2344 (E.D.N.Y.)

Orange County Considering Blockbuster Suit over PFAS Contamination

Nine Orange County water agencies and cities have reportedly retained seven law firms to study whether to pursue litigation to recoup the $1+ billion it could take to remove PFAS from local drinking water wells contaminated and to pay for importing water in the interim. The PFAS (specifically PFOA and PFOS) are reportedly due to treated wastewater from the Inland Empire being released into the Santa Ana River and then absorbed into the county’s primary groundwater basin.

May 22, 2020 | Orange County Register

North Carolina Landowners Target DuPont and Chemours over Contaminated Groundwater

More than 200 North Carolina landowners sued DuPont and Chemours for allegedly releasing PFAS into the air, water, and land around Chemours’ Fayetteville facility and contaminating the groundwater surrounding the Fayetteville factory, despite assuring the regulatory community “that they were doing no such thing.”

May 20, 2020 | O’Brien et al. v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., et al., 5:20-cv-00208-D (E.D.N.C.)

Second Circuit Upholds PFAS Medical Monitoring Claims

The Second Circuit affirmed residents of Hoosick Falls, NY’s medical monitoring claims, holding that that plaintiffs had pled a cognizable claim for medical monitoring costs because their allegation that PFOA had accumulated in their blood sufficiently met the injury threshold.

May 18, 2020 | Benoit, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 17-3941-cv(L) (2nd Cir.)