Claims against manufacturers and distributors of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)-containing aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) are hurtling forward. Two important developments in this opening salvo of PFAS-related claims against numerous defendants could have important ramifications not only on future PFAS litigation, but on insurance coverage for potential PFAS liabilities as well. First, ten bellwether cases are progressing closer to trial. Second, the key “government contractor defense” has been slated for briefing.
In December 2018, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation established a multi-district litigation (MDL 2873) for AFFF PFAS claims in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Unlike previous PFAS lawsuits (primarily against DuPont and/or 3M), the lawsuits in MDL 2873 target dozens of defendants who manufactured and distributed AFFF and its constituent chemicals. MDL 2873 now houses approximately 1,200 member cases, which include the following categories of claims: (i) claims for property damage asserted by water providers, (ii) claims for property damage asserted by property owners, (iii) bodily injury claims, and (iv) claims for medical monitoring for potential future injury.
Reprinted courtesy of Gregory S. Capps, White and Williams LLP and Lynndon K. Groff, White and Williams LLP
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