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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Chemours’ Motion to Dismiss Investor Suit Denied

Partially granting DuPont’s motion to dismiss, a Delaware District Court is allowing a consolidated class action alleging that the DuPont spinoff, Chemours knowingly hid the extent of its environmental remediation liabilities from investors. In particular, the investors’ suit points to PFAS as the basis for their allegations, claiming that Chemours “dramatically mischaracterized” its financial condition and “vastly understated” its liabilities “from decades of environmental pollution” in five filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between 2018 and 2019.

February 24, 2022 | In re The Chemours Company Securities Litigation Case No. 19-1911 (D. Del.)

Boston Firefighters Allege Injury from Exposure to Fire-Suppressing Foam and Protective Uniforms

Boston-area firefighters have filed a lawsuit against 3M, DuPont, and other manufacturers alleging that exposure to PFAS in fire-suppressing foam and protective uniforms worn to incidents was a “substantial factor” to the firefighters’ later development of cancer. Among other claims, plaintiffs contend 3M and DuPont specifically, have “long known about the serious and significant impacts to health caused by exposure to PFAS.” The firefighters served between seven and thirty-eight years at departments in the Boston area and are suing for alleged design defects, failure to warn, negligence, and violation of Massachusetts business law. The suit lists 25 defendants that manufacture or distribute PFAS, fire-suppression foam, and turnout gear.

February 15, 2022 | Marchetti et al. v. 3M et al., Case No. 1:22-cv-10251 (D. Mass)

Plaintiffs Contend Georgia Public Utility is Not Immune from Public Nuisance Claims

Dalton Utilities, a Georgia public utility involved in pending PFAS litigation in Georgia, appealed a ruling from the Northern District of Georgia partially denying the utility’s motion to dismiss. The Northern District held that Dalton Utilities is not entitled to sovereign immunity on Plaintiff Jarrod Johnson’s claim for nuisance abatement. Johnson urged the Eleventh Circuit through his briefing that the district court’s order is not yet appealable under the collateral order doctrine.

February 1, 2022 | Johnson v. The City of Dalton, Georgia d/b/a Dalton Utilities Case No. 21-13663 (11th Cir.)

New Jersey Court Denies Chemical Companies’ Motion to Dismiss Pollution Complaints

The District of New Jersey refused to dismiss lawsuits brought by southern New Jersey residents who live near DuPont, Solvay, and other chemical plants alleging personal injury from prolonged exposure to PFAS as well as manufacturing byproducts such as dyes, heavy metals, paints, and industrial alcohols and solvents. The court rejected defendants’ arguments that the residents didn’t sufficiently allege their ailments were caused by the companies and that they were actually exposed to the toxins. The judge did, however, dismiss the plaintiffs’ stand-alone claim for punitive damages and agreed with defendants that the claims against two defendants, Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC and Arkema, Inc., should be limited to those pertaining to perfluorononanoic acid perfluorooctanoic acid because plaintiffs have not alleged a connection between the defendants and any other toxin.

February 1, 2022 | Bond v. Solvay Specialty Polymers et al. and associated cases. Case Nos. 1:20-cv-08487, 1:20-cv-11393, 1:21-cv-00217, 1:21-cv-00452, 1:21-cv-11203 (D.N.J.)

Environmental Groups in North Carolina Revive Lawsuit Seeking Chemours Testing on 54 PFAS

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection seeks a court order requiring E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company to formally set aside $943 million for remediation of contamination stemming from a Salem County plant, contending the company has dodged the statutorily required obligation for more than seven years. The DEC says that under the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act and the New Jersey Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act, DuPont is required to establish a remediation funding source, but after years of negotiation and remediation, no such proper source has been established.

January 28, 2022 | New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (D.N.J.)