Several of Pennsylvania’s residents in Bucks and Montgomery Counties are preparing for a mass tort lawsuit against 6 chemical companies. The residents involved in the forthcoming lawsuits have been affected by chemical companies spilling harmful chemicals into their local water supplies. The chemicals in question are known as PFC’s, or Perflourinated Chemicals. PFC’s include Perflourooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perflouooctane (PFOS). These chemicals are used in the manufacturing of a number of products such as fabric, clothing, carpets, cookware, and food packaging. In this particular case, the PFC’s plaguing Pennsylvania’ water supply are the result of the production of firefighting foam. These foams are alleged to have been used at surrounding military bases and are also believed to have contaminated the local area drinking water with PFC’s.
Health Effects of PFC’s
PFOS and PFOA are linked to several adverse health effects. The Department of Environmental Protection in Pennsylvania has put forward a number of facts concerning how these chemicals may affect humans. One primary concern is liver damage, as PFOS and PFOA have been heavily correlated with damage and decrease in the size of the liver, spleen, and thymus in lab studies. In addition, an impaired immune system and impaired developmental and reproductive effects have been noted. Pregnant women and parents should be especially careful if their water supply may have been contaminated with PFC’s, as the chemicals may be passed through breast milk, and children are somewhat more susceptible to the effects of these chemicals than adults are. Children may experience high levels of cholesterol if there is a high presence of PFOA in their drinking water.
Mass Tort Case in Pennsylvania
Over 400 current and former Pennsylvania residents will act as plaintiffs in a case against 3M Co., Tyco Fire Products, Angus Fire, Buckeye Fire Protection Company, Chemguard, and National Foam. The chemical companies have been notified of the suit via a writ of summons, however, an official complaint has not yet been filed. In addition, these mass tort acts are compounded with other, separate class action suits against the companies as well.
The class action suits make the claim of the defective nature of the products, and also that the companies knew or should have known of its toxicity during its distribution, and furthermore failed to recall the product once the toxicity came to light. Instead of monetary damage awards, however, the class action suits are primarily concerned with the companies establishing a blood-testing program, health studies, medical monitoring, a program that tests wells for proper drinking water, and corporate responsibility for cleanups.
The attorneys representing the plaintiffs have sought to combine these actions into one case, and are prepared to make a filing for one, large complaint against the defendants.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligent or careless conduct of another individual or company, contact the legal professionals at Gilman & Bedigian today.