PFAS chemicals are highly water soluble, which increases the rate at which they spread throughout the environment, rapidly and persistently contaminating soil, groundwater, and surface water throughout the nation.
DALLAS — Baron & Budd is proud to announce that DuPont has agreed to pay $1.185 billion to public water systems across the United States that detect PFAS chemicals in their drinking water supplies. The lawsuits allege that DuPont and several other manufacturers sold PFAS-containing products when the companies knew that PFAS compounds would readily contaminate the environment and have the potential to cause human health problems including cancers.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that are used to create many nonstick, stain resistant, and waterproof products. These chemicals are also used in aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). AFFF is a firefighting agent used to control and extinguish Class B fuel fires at airports, military bases, and fire training centers.
Baron & Budd Shareholder Scott Summy is court appointed co-lead counsel and one of the architects of a comprehensive structure that addresses PFAS nationwide in Public Water Systems. Settlement funds will pay public water systems that have already detected PFAS in their water, will pay the costs of testing for those that have not yet tested, and will provide funds to those that find PFAS as a result of the testing.
“This is an impressive step toward righting a corporate wrong that threatened the health of all Americans,” said Baron & Budd shareholder Scott Summy. “DuPont has decided to put money into water systems’ hands today rather than delaying payment for years of trial. We applaud the company for this proactive move for cleaner water for all of us.”
Since 2018, approximately 300 drinking water providers have filed similar lawsuits. Many of the suits allege that the use of AFFF was a primary source of the PFAS contamination. The cases name a number of AFFF manufacturers and claim that they could have produced the foam with safer chemicals. DuPont did not manufacture AFFF, but it made PFAS components used by other companies to make AFFF.
Although the cases were filed in various states across the country, the manufacturers asked the federal court system to employ a procedure that allows for several similar cases to be consolidated before one judge for pretrial proceedings in what is known as Multidistrict Litigation (or “MDL”). The MDL was created in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina before Judge Richard Gergel. Thousands of cases alleging PFAS-related harms are currently pending in the MDL. In addition to water providers, claims have been filed by several states, a number of airports and fire-training facilities, and private well owners.
This settlement does not affect the water providers’ claims against the other defendants. All cases will continue against the non-settling manufacturers, including 3M Company (the primary manufacturer of AFFF), Tyco Fire Products, LP, and Chemguard, Inc.
About Baron & Budd, P.C.
Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 45 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse and significant as dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicles, federal whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues.