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Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer LLP Brownsville Insurance & Corporate Attorney

The New Toxic Tort Case Hitting Chemical Companies

Litigation6

Toxic torts are not only very complex legal cases, but they also have potential to cost businesses and insurance companies significant fines and damages, and they appear to be on the rise.  In particular, one type of toxic tort litigation linked to what are known as called “forever chemicals,” which have allegedly been discovered in some sources of drinking water. More and more class action lawsuits are being brought every day alleging that various companies have discharged these chemicals and contaminated ground and drinking water supplies for decades. Meanwhile, judges are refusing to toss out the claims on summary judgment and instead setting the cases to go to trial in spite of the presence of some blatant issues involved, such as plaintiffs seeking medical monitoring while being asymptomatic in some cases, for example. The lawsuits not only seek damages for lost property value, but also medical costs for each resident in terms of the health consequences that they have suffered, as well as those that they may suffer in the future.

Where The Litigation Originates From 

Some have called these chemicals “the largest environmental hazard in the country right now.” Several of the companies that have been targeted in the litigation include 3M and DuPont; namely companies that sold forever chemicals to other manufacturers. In 2017, DuPont settled more than 3,500 lawsuits in multi district litigation for $670 million just related to C8, which is used to make Teflon, for example, and has been linked to cancer and several other illnesses. However, because this settlement did not include medical monitoring, patients diagnosed with cancer after the settlement have been able to continue to file related lawsuits against the company.

An additional report released by the Environmental Working Group also cites varying levels of these chemicals in the drinking water in dozens of cities, including San Antonio Texas, and this has provided additional impetus for litigation against targeted companies. In addition, because there are no federal regulations of these chemicals, states, cities and water providers have begun to impose their own regulations, prompting even more plaintiffs’ attorneys to file additional class action lawsuits.

What About Texas?

Last year, a report came out that covered Texans living near several military sites who allegedly discovered that their ground water was heavily polluted with these chemicals and that they had been using the water for decades. According to that coverage, almost half a million Texans live within three miles of sites where groundwater has been designated as extremely contaminated; mostly due to fire fighter foam that has reportedly been used since the 1970s.

If Your Company Has Concerns, Contact Our Texas Toxic Tort Defense Attorneys

If your company is facing allegations involving any type of toxic tort, you or have concerns that, based on current litigation trends, you could face a legal issue like this, contact our Brownsville toxic tort defense attorneys at Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer, L.L.P. today. We have been advising and representing businesses for more than 60 years and have developed a specific understanding of the complex biology and chemistry, as well as cause and effect issues, unique claims and remedies associated with toxic tort claims and defenses against these claims.

Resources:

law.com/2020/02/03/are-forever-chemicals-the-next-big-toxic-tort/

texasobserver.org/nearly-500000-texans-live-in-communities-with-contaminated-groundwater-their-lawmakers-arent-doing-much-about-it/

ewg.org/research/national-pfas-testing/

https://www.rcclaw.com/the-public-nuisance-doctrine-is-costing-businesses-millions/

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