PFAS Lawsuit for Water Contamination

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Key takeaways:

  • PFAS lawsuits primarily hold manufacturers, distributors, and entities responsible for water contamination accountable for the adverse health effects and environmental harm caused by these "forever chemicals."
  • To join a PFAS contamination lawsuit, plaintiffs must provide proof of contamination, document health impacts linked to PFAS exposure, and adhere to state-specific statutes of limitations, which generally range from 2 to 5 years.
  • Maximizing PFAS lawsuit settlement amounts requires gathering evidence such as environmental tests, medical records, expert testimonies, incident reports, and communication records that demonstrate the harm caused by PFAS contamination and the negligent actions of manufacturers.

Overview of the PFAS Lawsuit for Water Contamination

On this page, we’ll discuss an overview of the PFAS lawsuit for water contamination, identifying responsible parties in the PFAS lawsuit, eligibility to file a PFAS water contamination lawsuit, and much more.

PFAS Lawsuit for Water Contamination

Introduction to PFAS Contamination and Litigation

Key issues in the PFAS Contamination include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental Persistence: PFAS do not break down in the environment, leading to widespread contamination of soil and water sources.
  • Health Risks: Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a variety of health issues, including cancer, liver damage, immune system disruptions, and developmental issues in infants and children.
  • Regulatory Challenges: The extensive use and lack of degradation make PFAS a challenge for environmental regulators to manage and control.

If you believe your property or health has been affected by PFAS contamination, legal recourse may be available.

Contact TruLaw using the chat on this page to receive an instant case evaluation and determine if you qualify to file a PFAS water contamination lawsuit today.

Table of Contents

Identifying Responsible Parties in the PFAS Lawsuit

The PFAS lawsuit primarily involves manufacturers and distributors of PFAS chemicals and entities responsible for water contamination.

Identifying Responsible Parties in the PFAS Lawsuit

PFAS lawsuits address the contamination of water sources by PFAS chemicals, detailing the adverse health effects and environmental harm caused by these substances.

These lawsuits aim to hold manufacturers accountable and seek compensation for impacted communities.

Manufacturers and Distributors of PFAS Chemicals

Manufacturers and distributors of PFAS chemicals are often at the center of legal actions due to their role in producing or supplying these substances, also known as “forever chemicals.”

These companies have been found to introduce PFAS into various products, leading to widespread environmental and health impacts.

Key lawsuits include actions against companies like DuPont and 3M.

Notable cases feature water contamination around facilities such as the Willow Grove Military Facilities in Pennsylvania, highlighting the critical need for accountability and remediation efforts.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Production and Distribution of PFAS: These entities are responsible for creating and selling PFAS-containing products.
  • Failure to Warn: Many lawsuits claim that manufacturers did not sufficiently warn about the dangers of PFAS.
  • Environmental Impact: Companies are held accountable for PFAS released into the environment, which affects soil, water, and air.
  • Health Risks: There is significant litigation over the health impacts such as cancers and liver damage caused by PFAS exposure.

Prominent manufacturers: Companies like 3M and DuPont are frequently cited due to their extensive history with PFAS production.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) often investigates these manufacturers to enforce regulations and hold them accountable for damages.

Entities Responsible for PFAS Water Contamination

Entities responsible for PFAS water contamination include various public and private organizations contributing to PFAS entering drinking water systems and contaminated groundwater.

These entities are largely liable due to the hazardous impacts of contaminated water supplies on public health.

Key contributors include:

  • Local Fire Departments: Use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams leads to contamination of nearby water sources.
  • Industrial Sites: Factories and plants that discharge PFAS into waterways contribute significantly to water contamination.
  • Landfills: Sites improperly managing PFAS-containing waste can lead to chemicals leaching into groundwater.
  • Water Treatment Facilities: Facilities not equipped to handle PFAS may inadvertently distribute contaminated water.

Eligibility to File a PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuit

PFAS chemicals are synthetic compounds used in various products, including PFAS-containing firefighting foam and consumer goods.

Eligibility to File a PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuit

These substances, often referred to as “forever chemicals,” are environmentally persistent and accumulate in water sources, leading to widespread PFAS contamination.

Contaminated water sources can have high PFAS concentrations, which pose significant health risks such as cancer, thyroid disorders, and other adverse health effects.

The PFAS chemical in drinking water has led to numerous PFAS lawsuits.

Knowing the eligibility criteria and timing is essential for those impacted by PFAS water contamination to pursue legal action effectively.

The following segments provide specifics on joining a PFAS contamination lawsuit and the relevant statute of limitations.

Criteria for Joining a PFAS Contamination Lawsuit

Various parties are eligible to file a lawsuit if they can demonstrate the impact of PFAS contamination on their health or water systems.

Entities typically eligible to file a PFAS contamination lawsuit include:

  • Water Providers: Municipal and local water systems impacted by PFAS contamination.
  • Local Governments: Towns and cities with pollution in public water supplies.
  • Special Districts: Public and private entities responsible for water management.
  • Individuals: Residents with documented health issues linked to PFAS exposure.
  • Proof of Contamination: Documented evidence of PFAS presence in water supplies or bodily fluids.
  • Health Impact Documentation: Diagnosed medical conditions linked to PFAS exposure.
  • Location within Affected Area: Inclusion within a documented contamination zone.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a PFAS Lawsuit

Understanding the time frames within which to file a lawsuit is critical to ensure the legal action is valid.

Important Time Frames:

  1. Discovery Rule: The statute begins when the contamination and its link to health issues are discovered.
  2. State-Specific Limits: Varying statutes of limitations across different states, generally ranging from 2 to 5 years.
  3. Federal Considerations: Federal lawsuits may have different timelines and procedural requirements.
  4. Ongoing Contamination: In cases of continued exposure, the timeline may be extended.

In summary, meeting eligibility requirements and adhering to the statute of limitations are fundamental for entities and individuals seeking compensation for PFAS-related harm.

Understanding these factors can significantly influence the success of a case.

For more detailed information on state-specific rules or recent updates, refer to relevant resources and legal advisories.

Evidence Required to Support a PFAS Lawsuit Claim

When pursuing a PFAS lawsuit, plaintiffs must present specific types of evidence to demonstrate the impact of PFAS contamination on health and the environment.

Evidence Required to Support a PFAS Lawsuit Claim

This includes medical documentation and environmental data to illustrate the extent of PFAS exposure and its consequences.

Medical Records and Health Impact Documentation

Medical documentation plays a significant role in substantiating claims of health impacts due to PFAS exposure.

Plaintiffs need to establish a direct link between the health impacts observed and exposure to PFAS chemicals.

To do this, they should gather:

  1. Medical records detailing diagnoses and treatments.
  2. Expert medical testimony linking health conditions to PFAS exposure.
  3. Epidemiological studies demonstrate correlations between PFAS and specific health effects.
  4. Personal health histories showing duration and levels of PFAS exposure.

By compiling these types of evidence, plaintiffs can provide a clearer picture of how PFAS concentrations in their environment have led to adverse health outcomes such as increased risks of cancers, liver damage, and other chronic conditions.

Water Testing and Environmental Contamination Data

Environmental contamination data is crucial in establishing the presence and levels of toxic PFAS chemicals in the environment.

This type of evidence often involves sophisticated water testing and analysis of other contaminated resources.

Evidence under this category may include:

  • Water testing reports documenting PFAS concentrations in local water sources.
  • Environmental impact assessments are conducted by independent or governmental bodies like the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Historical data showing trends in PFAS pollution over time.
  • Expert environmental testimony interpreting testing results and their implications.

Contaminated drinking water data from these sources helps to link the PFAS compounds found in the environment to the health impacts observed in individuals, thus reinforcing the legal arguments in the lawsuit.

The PFAS Lawsuit Process: From Filing to Resolution

Understanding the PFAS lawsuit process is vital for affected entities seeking justice and compensation.

The PFAS Lawsuit Process_ From Filing to Resolution

Steps Involved in Pursuing a PFAS Lawsuit

The legal process of filing a PFAS lawsuit involves several critical stages, each essential for building a strong case.

Key steps in the PFAS lawsuit process include:

  1. Filing the Complaint Lawsuits typically commence with the filing of a complaint. In a PFAS lawsuit, impacted individuals or groups present their claims against manufacturers like DuPont and Affiliates. Complaints often cite contamination and harm to health due to PFAS exposure.
  2. Class Certification When multiple plaintiffs with similar claims join together, a PFAS class action lawsuit may be formed. The goal is to streamline the legal process by combining numerous individual cases into one.
  3. Discovery Phase During this phase, both parties exchange evidence and information related to the PFAS claims. This includes collecting data on PFAS contamination and its impact. Expert testimonies and environmental assessments are common.
  4. Pre-Trial Motions Both sides may file motions to resolve or narrow down issues before the trial. These can include requests to dismiss certain claims or challenge the admissibility of evidence.
  5. Trial or Settlement Negotiations If the case proceeds to trial, both sides present their arguments in federal courts. However, many PFAS lawsuits are resolved through settlements before reaching this stage.

For example, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General objected to a 3M settlement that had been approved by a federal court.

Potential Outcomes and Settlements in PFAS Lawsuits

The resolution of PFAS lawsuits can vary, with potential outcomes designed to address the damages and prevent future harm.

Possible outcomes and settlements in PFAS lawsuits include:

  • Monetary Compensation Plaintiffs may receive financial compensation for damages caused by PFAS contamination. This includes cleanup costs, health impact damages, and other related expenses.
  • Injunctive Relief Courts may issue orders requiring defendants to take specific actions to mitigate future harm. This can involve cleanup efforts and stricter controls on PFAS manufacturing.
  • Federal Court Approval Any proposed settlement usually requires final approval by federal courts. This ensures that the settlement is fair and adequate for all claimants involved.
  • Ongoing Litigation Cases that have not been resolved through settlement proceed to trial.

By following these steps, plaintiffs can navigate the PFAS lawsuit process effectively and seek appropriate compensation for damages caused by PFAS contamination.

Choosing the Right Attorney for Your PFAS Lawsuit

Selecting the right attorney for a PFAS lawsuit ensures a successful legal outcome.

Choosing the Right Attorney for Your PFAS Lawsuit

This section focuses on the legal basis for filing a lawsuit, important factors to consider when choosing an attorney, and pertinent questions to ask potential PFAS lawyers.

Legal Basis for Filing a PFAS Contamination Lawsuit

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been widely documented to cause significant health issues, including various cancers, liver damage, and infertility.

Numerous states, such as Colorado, Illinois, and Connecticut, have filed lawsuits against manufacturers for producing and distributing these harmful chemicals.

The legal basis for these lawsuits often centers around negligence, product liability, and violation of environmental regulations.

Common legal grounds to file a PFAS lawsuit include, but are not limited to:

  • Negligence: Manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with PFAS.
  • Product Liability: Companies produce and distribute dangerous goods without adequate safety measures.
  • Environmental Regulations: Violations of laws meant to protect water supplies and public health concerns.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a PFAS Attorney

Choosing the right attorney involves several considerations that will greatly impact your case.

Below are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Experience: Look for an attorney with a proven track record in handling PFAS or environmental contamination cases.
  • Resources: Ensure the legal firm has the resources to handle extensive research and expert consultations.
  • Reputation: Check reviews and professional ratings to assess the attorney’s reputation in the field.
  • Success Rate: Consider the attorney’s history of winning similar cases and securing substantial settlements.
  • Fee Structure: Understand the cost involved, whether through contingency fees or hourly rates.

Questions to Ask Potential PFAS Lawsuit Attorneys

When interviewing potential attorneys, it’s important to ask targeted questions to gauge their suitability for handling your case.

Here are some important questions to consider:

  1. What is your experience with PFAS contamination cases?
  2. Do you have a dedicated team for environmental litigation?
  3. What is your track record in similar lawsuits?
  4. Can you provide references from past clients?
  5. What are the expected costs and payment structures?
  6. How do you plan to approach my specific case?

These questions will help determine the qualifications and fit of the attorney for your needs.

Current Status and Notable PFAS Lawsuit Developments

Current PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) lawsuits center around manufacturers and the alleged harm these chemicals cause to the environment and human health.

Current Status and Notable PFAS Lawsuit Developments

Key cases in multiple states and recent trends in PFAS litigation are shaping the legal landscape.

High-Profile PFAS Lawsuits and Their Outcomes

Several high-profile lawsuits have emerged across different states, targeting manufacturers accused of causing significant harm.

In California, Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against companies for endangering public health and causing environmental damage through PFAS contamination.

In Rhode Island, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha also pursued legal action against manufacturers for their production of toxic forever chemicals.

The new PFAS lawsuit claims these companies engaged in a widespread campaign of deception.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington added to the momentum with a lawsuit against 20 PFAS manufacturers.

Investigations revealed these corporations were aware of health risks for decades but continued marketing PFAS-containing products.

Connecticut’s state department highlighted severe health effects associated with PFAS, aiming for both injunctive and monetary relief through legal measures to combat contamination in public water systems.

Emerging Trends and Updates in PFAS Litigation

Emerging trends in PFAS litigation reflect increasing awareness and action against these toxic chemicals.

There has been a noticeable rise in lawsuits related to aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) and its use in firefighting.

Recently, the following trends have been observed:

  1. Increased focus on medical monitoring for exposed populations, particularly firefighters.
  2. Intensive study and litigation surrounding specific PFAS chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS.
  3. Widespread contamination allegations involve multiple states.
  4. Agreements to cease production of intentionally added PFAS in certain consumer products.
  5. Environmental agencies are pushing for stricter regulations to reduce the risk of long-term exposure.
  6. Claims about increased cancer risks, especially kidney and thyroid diseases linked to PFAS.

South Carolina has also seen cases focusing on Recovery Act provisions to handle the widespread contamination affecting natural resources.

These emerging legal battles emphasize efforts to hold manufacturers accountable and seek essential remedies for affected residents.

TruLaw: Maximizing Your PFAS Lawsuit Settlement Amount

Maximizing the settlement amount in a PFAS lawsuit requires meticulous preparation and attention to detail.

TruLaw_ Maximizing Your PFAS Lawsuit Settlement Amount

Gathering evidence and maintaining thorough documentation are essential steps in building a strong case.

Gathering Evidence and Documentation for Your Case

Gathering evidence and documentation is key to securing a favorable settlement in a PFAS lawsuit.

Evidence can include environmental tests, medical records, and expert testimonies.

Key steps to maximize your PFAS lawsuit for water contamination include:

  • Environmental Tests: Obtain water and soil tests from your local authorities or private labs to document contamination levels.
  • Medical Records: Collect records that show medical conditions linked to PFAS exposure, including test results and doctor reports.
  • Expert Testimonies: Secure statements from environmental scientists or medical experts who can link PFAS exposure to health issues.
  • Incident Reports: File reports detailing specific instances of contamination or health problems arising from PFAS exposure.
  • Communication Records: Keep emails, letters, and other communications proving negligent actions by manufacturers.

Maintaining thorough documentation ensures that every piece of evidence is easily accessible.

This strengthens the case against PFAS manufacturers by providing tangible proof of harm caused by PFAS contamination.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are PFAS chemicals and why are they a concern?

    PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are synthetic compounds used in various products that persist in the environment and accumulate in water sources.

    These “forever chemicals” pose significant health risks such as cancer, thyroid disorders, and other adverse effects when present in drinking water.

  • Who can be held responsible in PFAS water contamination lawsuits?

    Due to their role in producing and supplying PFAS chemicals, manufacturers and distributors are often the primary targets of lawsuits.

    Entities responsible for water contamination, such as local fire departments, industrial sites, landfills, and water treatment facilities, can also be held liable for the hazardous impacts on public health.

  • What evidence is required to support a PFAS lawsuit claim?

    Plaintiffs must present medical records and health impact documentation to establish a link between PFAS exposure and observed health issues.

    Water testing and environmental contamination data are also crucial in demonstrating the presence and levels of toxic PFAS chemicals in the environment.

  • What are some notable PFAS lawsuits and their outcomes?

    High-profile PFAS lawsuits have emerged across states, such as California, Rhode Island, and Washington, targeting manufacturers accused of causing significant harm.

    These lawsuits claim that companies engaged in deceptive practices were aware of health risks for decades and continued marketing PFAS products.

  • How can TruLaw help maximize your PFAS lawsuit settlement amount?

    TruLaw emphasizes the importance of gathering evidence and maintaining thorough documentation to build a strong case against PFAS manufacturers.

    They assist clients in obtaining environmental tests, medical records, expert testimonies, incident reports, and communication records to provide tangible proof of harm caused by PFAS contamination and secure favorable settlements.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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