Tags: PFAS

Court approves £1.1 billion settlement with DuPont over “forever chemicals” contamination


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Federal court greenlights historic settlement

The federal court overseeing litigation against manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has approved a settlement requiring DuPont to pay £1.185 billion to public water systems across the United States.

This decision addresses the contamination of drinking water supplies with PFAS chemicals, used in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for extinguishing Class B fuel fires.

Baron & Budd, representing numerous public water systems in this consolidated litigation, announced the court’s approval, marking a significant move towards resolving the issues surrounding PFAS contamination.

Overwhelming support for the settlement

Following the court’s preliminary approval in August 2023, approximately 14,000 public water systems were notified about the settlement, with an option to participate or object to its terms.

The court’s order highlighted the overwhelming support, with around 94% of these systems choosing to participate.

Scott Summy, Baron & Budd shareholder and class counsel, expressed his gratitude towards the court and DuPont for their proactive approach, stating: “Today marks an important step towards protecting the health and safety of all Americans.

“The Court’s approval of our agreement with DuPont will provide immediate relief to water systems rather than going through years of trial and dragging out the much-needed payments.”

Comprehensive relief for affected water systems by forever chemicals

The settlement funds are designated for public water systems that have detected PFAS in their water, covering the costs of testing for those yet to be tested, and providing funds for systems that discover PFAS as a result of future testing.

Since the multidistrict litigation (MDL) was established in 2018, thousands of cases have been filed or transferred to the MDL, alleging that DuPont and other manufacturers sold PFAS-containing products with knowledge of their potential to contaminate the environment and cause health issues.

Claims have also been filed by states, airports, fire-training facilities, and private well owners.

IFSJ Comment

The approval of the £1.1 billion settlement with DuPont by the federal court represents a critical milestone in addressing the widespread issue of PFAS contamination in the United States.

The collaborative efforts of legal teams, public water systems, and the court system exemplify a commitment to safeguarding public health and the environment.

As litigation continues against other manufacturers, this case underscores the importance of corporate accountability in environmental protection efforts.

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