Connecticut PFAS Lawsuits Reflect Growing Trend

Jan 26, 2024 | Environmental, PFAS, Toxic Tort

In April 2023, we wrote regarding the state of Maine’s unique approach to litigating seeking costs for remediation for PFAS in the state’s environment. Maine was the first state to bring two such lawsuits – one related to AFFF pollution allegations and one for PFAS contamination unrelated to AFFF. Now, Connecticut follows the same strategy as Maine by filing two of its own lawsuits for the costs of PFAS remediation within the state.

Connecticut PFAS Lawsuits

Connecticut’s Attorney General filed two lawsuits seeking PFAS remediation costs from various PFAS and AFFF manufacturers. In the first lawsuit, the state specifically targets companies that manufactured PFAS and AFFF products, with the lawsuit alleging that the AFFF products have cause damage to the environment in the state. It is likely that the AFFF-related lawsuit will be removed to the MDL in South Carolina, which manages all PFAS AFFF related claims. In the second lawsuit, the state argues that non-AFFF products that were manufactured and/or used in the state of Connecticut contributed to PFAS contamination in the state.

The state is seeking costs related to investigating, cleaning up, restoring, treating, monitoring and “otherwise responding” to the contamination of Connecticut’s groundwater, surface water, soil and other natural resources.

The strategy of filing two lawsuits related to PFAS environmental pollution is a trend that companies should pay attention to, as it may serve as a vehicle for states to avoid having their case bogged down in the MDL litigation that may take years to resolve. It is likely that Connecticut, like Maine, filed the two lawsuits to pursue litigation in their own state at a faster pace than the MDL might afford the states. We predict that other states will follow similar strategies related to PFAS environmental cleanup costs.

Implications For Downstream Manufacturers

While the Connecticut PFAS lawsuits largely target PFAS manufacturers, companies should not dismiss the lawsuits as an event unlikely to impact them in any way. On the contrary, in other states, including California, companies have been directly named as defendants in lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in PFAS remediation costs. Corporations should not ignore the pollution and environmental contamination issues that PFAS pose, as states, federal and state regulatory agencies, and even private citizens are actively seeking damages from companies that they believe placed PFAS into the environment. All companies of all types would be well advised to conduct a complete compliance audit to best understand areas of concern for PFAS liability issues, and ways to mitigate PFAS concerns.

CMBG3 Law is following judicial, legislative, administrative, and scientific developments relating to PFAS. More information about the services we can provide, including risk assessments, to ensure your business is ready for any intersection with these substances can be found on our PFAS Litigation page.

Our attorneys have been at the forefront of PFAS issues, including giving presentations as to the future waves of litigation stemming from PFAS issues. For more information, please contact the Chair of our PFAS – Toxic Torts Team: John Gardella.

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