PFAS Water Contamination Lawyers
PFAS Lawsuit Updates September 2023
PFAS Lawsuit Updates September 2023
If you or someone you love was exposed to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and subsequently received a testicular or kidney cancer diagnosis, you may be eligible for compensation. The PFAS water contamination lawyers at Reich & Binstock are tackling the ongoing PFAS lawsuits and representing victims injured by PFAS contamination.
At Reich & Binstock, our toxic tort lawyers have extensive experience handling cases involving water contamination, groundwater contamination, soil contamination, and much more. When filing PFAS lawsuits, it is imperative to work with an attorney who has toxic tort knowledge and experience.
Our law firm has handled many toxic tort cases, including those involving the contamination of military bases, toxic firefighting foam, and much more. To schedule your free case evaluation with us, please call our personal injury attorneys at 713-622-7271 today.
NOTE: The law firm of Reich & Binstock is currently accepting PFAS personal injury lawsuits involving testicular cancer and kidney cancer for claimants under 50 years old.
PFAS Lawsuit Timeline
- May 2023: The Attorney General in Maryland, Anthony G. Brown, announced that he would file two lawsuits against PFAS manufacturers like 3M and DuPont.
- June 2023: Certain chemical companies, including DuPont, Corteva, and The Chemours Company, agreed to settle claims related to PFAS in public water systems. The settlement, valued at $1.185 billion, was subject to approval by the District Court in South Carolina.
- July 2023: Kentucky has also filed a claim against chemical manufacturers like DuPont, 3M, and Chemours. The state seeks compensation for PFAS levels of contamination, asking that those companies cover the costs for assessment, monitoring, remediation, and restoration across the state.
- August 2023: A new study released by the federal government has linked PFOS, which is a type of PFAS, to testicular cancer. Because of this study, the Department of Defense has vowed to cease its use of PFAS-containing foam products by October 2024.
What to Know About PFAS Chemicals and Contamination
Potentially, millions of families have ingested drinking water contaminated with toxic chemicals such as PFAS. PFAS are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances that take thousands of years to degrade. This earns them the nickname “forever chemicals.”
Although there are thousands of different types of PFAS, two of the most known are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Toxic PFAS chemicals have been widely used for industrial purposes in recent years. Some of these uses include aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which firefighters use to combat chemical fires.
Because so many products nationwide include PFAS chemicals, PFAS contamination is widespread. Contamination is a particularly serious issue concerning contaminated drinking water and groundwater.
When people are exposed to this contaminated water, PFAS exposure has been linked to serious health risks, including an increased risk of cancer and other adverse health effects. If you or your family has been exposed to PFAS, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
What Are PFAS?
The Environmental Protection Agency defines PFAS as “widely used, long-lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time.” The use of PFAS chemicals is so widespread that people, animals, foods, and soils worldwide have been found to have PFAS present.
Thousands of PFAS chemicals are used in countless different products, including consumer products, industrial chemicals, and commercial products. This is part of why these dangerous man-made chemicals are so difficult to study – they’re everywhere.
Even with countless hours of research and study by the Environmental Protection Agency, there is so much that we don’t know about PFAS. What we do know is that those exposed to PFAS can potentially suffer from serious health effects due to their exposure. Exposed individuals might have the right to file a PFAS lawsuit if they suffered damages due to that exposure.
What Are the Types of PFAS?
As we stated previously, there are thousands of different types of PFAS chemicals. They became very common around the 1950s and have since been a staple for chemical companies and industrial manufacturers.
Two PFAS that were once widely used are PFOA and PFOS. These two chemicals, plus PFNA and PFHxS, were found in the blood of nearly every individual tested by the CDC for PFAS.
What Are PFAS Used For?
PFAS substances are and have been used in countless consumer products since their inception. Below, we list popular products that often contain PFAS.
- Firefighting foam
- Cleaning products
- Personal protective equipment
- Medical devices
- Products that resist grease
- Food packaging products
- Stain-resistant fabrics
- Water-resistant clothes
- Paint, varnish, and sealants
- Cosmetics and personal care products
Can You Filter PFAS?
If you’re concerned about whether or not you can filter PFAS from your drinking water, we have good news for you. While not all PFAS can be filtered through in-home water supply filters, having the right kind of filter and properly maintaining it can ensure that you remove as many PFAS as possible from your drinking water.
Currently, the most studied treatment for removing PFAS from water is activated carbon. The EPA states that it “can be 100% effective for a period of time, depending on the type of carbon used, the depth of the bed of carbon, the flow rate of the water, the specific PFAS you need to remove, temperature, and the degree and type of organic matter as well as other contaminants…in the water.”
Drinking water filters using activated carbon can reduce PFAS in your water by around 95% or more. Other filter alternatives include those that use reverse osmosis and ion exchange. Even bottled water isn’t safe from PFAS, so you won’t be any safer by simply switching to strictly bottled water.
What Are PFAS Lawsuits?
PFAS lawsuits allege that individuals were exposed to toxic “forever chemicals” and subsequently suffered harm as a result. For example, if someone’s exposure to PFAS leads to testicular cancer or kidney cancer, they may be eligible for compensation in a PFAS suit. Generally, one could pursue a claim for physical harm, property damage, mental anguish, and even birth defects.
What Companies Are Involved in the PFAS Litigation?
The four major chemical companies involved in PFAS litigation include 3M, DuPont, Corteva, and Chemours. So far, these companies have paid $11.5 billion in damages. However, many sources speculate that, when all is said and done, they could end up paying more than $200 billion in damages. This would surpass the largest class action lawsuit in United States history against “Big Tobacco.”
What States Are Affected by PFAS Lawsuits?
Widespread PFAS use has led to widespread contamination. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) hosts an interactive map of known PFAS water contamination areas on their website. This map shows that all 50 states, including Hawaii, Alaska, and the District of Columbia, have suffered PFAS contamination. Of those 50 states, twenty-six are currently pursuing litigation against PFAS manufacturers.
What Causes PFAS Contamination?
PFAS contamination is so widespread because, even today, our use of PFAS-containing products is widespread. Through products like firefighting foam, food packages, electronics, household products, and toiletries, PFAS have permeated our air, water, soil, and food.
It is easy for PFAS to spread and contaminate the environment because of its persistence and ability to move throughout the environment and atmosphere. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published surveys showing that most United States citizens have been exposed to PFAS. Humans are commonly exposed to PFAS through the following means, according to the EPA.
- Eating foods contaminated with PFAS
- Drinking PFAS-contaminated water
- Working in certain industries, like chemical manufacturing or firefighting
- Breathing air contaminated with PFAS
- Ingesting dust or soil contaminated with PFAS
- Using products made with or packaged in PFAS materials
PFAS Water Contamination
Many PFAS are water-soluble, meaning they can dissolve in water. Because of this, PFAS from chemical spills, landfills, firefighting foam, manufacturing sites, and factories can seep into the soil. Once in the soil, PFAS can contaminate groundwater, surface water, and, eventually, drinking water.
What Are the Risks of PFAS Contamination?
The risks of exposure to forever chemicals affect both people and the environment. Because these chemicals are so persistent and pervasive, they taint both our natural resources and our bodies. In the following sections, we outline how per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances can impact both human and environmental health.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the following human health effects have been linked to PFAS exposure.
- Immune system changes
- Changes in cholesterol
- Vaccine responses
- Higher preeclampsia risk
- High blood pressure in pregnant women
- Increased risk of certain cancers (kidney and testicular)
- Liver damage and change in liver enzymes
- Low infant birth weight
Can PFAS Become Concentrated in the Body?
Yes, some PFAS compounds can accumulate in the human body over time. This is because many different PFAS are absorbed through contaminated food or water and persist in the body for long periods of time.
Public health isn’t the only thing at risk of contamination by PFAS. These chemicals do not break down in the environment, meaning they can contaminate natural resources for a long time. They do this by moving through soils, contaminating drinking water sources, and building up (bioaccumulating) in wildlife.
Can You Sue for PFAS Exposure?
Yes, you may be eligible for legal action if you or someone you love has suffered adverse health effects due to PFAS exposure. We recommend speaking with a PFAS lawsuit attorney to determine your eligibility. Several class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation cases are ongoing regarding PFAS exposure. If you have been diagnosed with testicular or kidney cancer after PFAS exposure, and you are under age 50, Reich & Binstock is here for you.
Who Can File a PFAS Cancer Lawsuit?
Individuals who meet the following criteria may be eligible to file a claim against chemical companies that manufacture PFAS.
- Diagnosed with kidney cancer, testicular cancer, or another condition linked to PFAS exposure
- Developed other health problems linked to PFAS exposure, such as thyroid problems, ulcerative colitis, or high cholesterol
- Lived in an area of known PFAS contamination in drinking water
- Worked in occupations with high PFAS exposure, like manufacturing jobs or firefighting
- Had a family member who died from PFAS exposure complications
How to File a PFAS Contamination Lawsuit
If you have suffered serious personal injuries or illnesses due to PFAS contamination, you may be entitled to compensation. But how do you even begin PFAS litigation?
Suppose you have received a cancer diagnosis or a diagnosis of another serious illness after exposure to PFAS. In that case, we recommend working with personal injury lawyers with experience in this area. Individual claimants, municipalities, and class action members have all begun to pursue compensation for their suffering.
The first step is always to establish an attorney-client relationship with a law firm that you trust. Do they have experience in toxic tort litigation? How successful have they been in the past? It isn’t helpful to work with a lawyer who prioritizes auto accident or medical malpractice cases, as they won’t have the relevant knowledge to build a strong case for you.
Our law firm will take legal action for PFAS victims and their families, build a strong case, and fight for their legal rights to compensation.
PFAS Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
Companies that are defendants in PFAS lawsuits have already paid out hundreds of millions, in some cases billions, of dollars to affected areas. They are expected to continue settling claims in the coming years.
It can be difficult to determine the value of a claim without an evaluation from an experienced toxic exposure lawyer. If you or someone you love has suffered adverse health effects from PFAS exposure, contact the law firm of Reich & Binstock. We will evaluate your situation and help you achieve a better idea of the value of your claim.
Contact a PFAS Attorney at Reich & Binstock Today
At Reich & Binstock, we have extensive experience handling a wide array of toxic tort claims, including those involving PFAS contamination. We can not only help you determine whether or not your area is contaminated, but we can also help you with your PFAS lawsuit. These cases are very complicated, so it takes specialized knowledge to litigate them. If you have suffered from adverse health effects due to PFAS exposure, contact Reich & Binstock to schedule your free consultation. Call our office today at 713-622-7271 or fill out our online intake form.