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Families in New Jersey have filed multiple lawsuits in the District Court of New Jersey alleging that their birth defects and/or illnesses are the result of chemical pollution. Four suits have been filed over the last year and others appear on the horizon.
The named major corporate defendants include DuPont, Chemours Arkema, and 3M. The complaints allege that these defendants are responsible for the manufacture and/or disposal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as “PFAS” or “forever chemicals.” Plaintiffs argue that these chemicals infiltrated the air, water, and soil, thereby causing a plethora of illnesses among members of the plaintiff families. Some even allege that their exposure was so severe and prolonged, that they passed the toxins on to their children through birth, causing severe birth defects. All of these allegations have been denied by these companies.
The effects complained of run the gamut from more commonly discussed issues like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis to cognitive developmental delays, severe paralysis, and an inability to control the movement of limbs. The complaints allege that these issues were foreseeable to the defendants and therefore these plaintiffs are entitled to damages. The defendants maintain that they are not responsible for any of the health concerns plaintiffs complain of and argue that these complaints lack scientific, factual, and legal merit.
PFAS and PFOA have become prominent in the news lately. For several years state regulators and private lawsuits have focused on environmental cleanups and questions have been raised about acceptable cleanup levels. Now we are looking at significant personal injury lawsuits.
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As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.Read More