The National Rural Water Association (NRWA) and law firm Napoli Shkolnik PLLC have announced a $1.185 billion settlement for water systems against manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva.
The settlement is a major breakthrough for the water sector’s ongoing PFAS crisis. It is part of the AFFF PFAS Mass Tort Litigation, a suit regarding PFAS contamination through aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). Under a mass tort, numerous parties can be involved in a suit against responsible parties for broadly similar harms — such as water system contamination through PFAS in manufacturers' AFFF.
Under the settlement, the three manufacturers would provide financial compensation for the cost of PFAS treatment in certain contaminated water systems. The parties of the litigation are still finalizing the terms of the agreement.
Water and wastewater systems may still be able to participate in the litigation and settlement by filling a form on Napoli Shkolnik’s website here.
"We applaud the court, the leadership of Paul Napoli, and the work of the Napoli Shkolnik Law Firm for recognizing the need for these companies to be held accountable," said John O'Connell, NRWA Board President, in a statement. "This settlement is the beginning of helping our utility members in the fight against PFAS. We recognize there is still much work ahead to remove PFAS from rural areas."
Further details about the settlement have not yet been released.
Napoli Shkolnik and NRWA also have a trial with other PFAS manufacturer defendants, including 3M. This trial was set to begin in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 5, 2023.