The ABCs of PFAS: What You Need to Know About Liabilities for the “Forever Chemical”

Businessman holding chemical symbol in hand factory behind him

This article provides a primer on PFAS, including the current regulatory framework and litigation landscape.

February 22, 2021
Robert F. Walsh, Gregory S. Capps & R. Victoria Fuller - Complex Insurance Coverage Reporter

This article is based on a presentation the authors made at White and Williams LLP’s Virtual Coverage College® on October 22, 2020. Every year, hundreds of insurance professionals come to Philadelphia—this year via our online platform—to participate in a full day of lectures and interactive presentations by White and Williams lawyers and guest panelists about the latest issues and challenges involved in claim handling and insurance litigation. Visit coveragecollege.com for more information and stay tuned for Coverage College® 2021.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS or PFOS, have been a key ingredient in numerous industrial and consumer products for decades. These man-made chemicals are prevalent and are also known for their longevity in the environment. More recently, PFAS have been the focus of thousands of lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage. Some insurers have already questioned whether PFAS could rival asbestos in scope and bottom-line impacts. It is a legacy that confronts manufacturers and other defendants and insurers today.

This article provides a primer on PFAS, including the current regulatory framework and litigation landscape. We also identify some key emerging coverage issues insurers should be aware of when dealing with PFAS claims under liability and first-party property policies.

Reprinted courtesy of Robert F. Walsh, White and Williams LLP and Gregory S. Capps, White and Williams LLP
Mr. Walsh may be contacted at walshr@whiteandwilliams.com
Mr. Capps may be contacted at cappsg@whiteandwilliams.com



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