In writer Emily Field’s recent article, What To Know About the Growing PFAS Litigation, published in Law360 on February 24, 2022, John Gardella was extensively quoted for his insights regarding PFAS litigation, significant regulatory actions coming in the near future that will impact PFAS litigation, future corporate targets for PFAS lawsuits, and steps companies can take now to prepare for the future risks.
An excerpt from the article:
Although time-consuming and potentially difficult, the first line of defense for companies that may be anticipating litigation over PFAS is understanding their supply chain, according to Gardella.
“There are over 7,000 types of PFAS,” Gardella said. “So the company has to understand first and foremost whether they’re actually using any one of the 7,000 PFAS.”
From there, it’s finding out from their suppliers of chemicals, chemical solutions or even raw materials whether there are PFAS present in those substances, according to Gardella. It may be more difficult to get accurate information from suppliers based overseas in countries where regulations over PFAS are less stringent, he noted.
“But these are the kinds of due diligence steps that companies in the United States need to try and undertake and understand,” Gardella said. “It can take time, but it’s absolutely necessary. The other avenue you can take is actually testing yourself.”
If companies are using PFAS currently, they should find out whether a substitute is a viable option, Gardella said. And if they are disposing of PFAS, they should also make sure their waste management company is ensuring the chemicals aren’t leaching into the environment.
Lastly, even if a company isn’t using PFAS now, it might have to go digging into its archives to see if it used them in the past, given how prevalent they are, according to Gardella.
“So we need to undertake an effort … to look back at your old corporate documents, look at your old sales records and invoices,” he said. “Actually try and speak to people who are working in the company at the time … to understand what was being used in your industrial manufacturing process so you can actually understand the historical use and kind of map out where your risk is honestly.”
For more information, please contact John Gardella.
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.