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PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuits Update

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Water contamination lawsuits to be selected for bellwether trial and another PFAS lawsuit is filed.

Santa Clara, CAPFAS water contamination lawsuits will go to the first bellwether trial over toxic chemicals in firefighting foam in March 2023 and the latest aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) complaint was filed last month in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

On the heels of discoveries that identified over 2,800 residential and military sites highly contaminated with PFAS chemicals released from AFFF foam run-off and manufacturing plants, more PFAS lawsuits are being filed, both by residents and military personnel. They claim the contaminated water dumped into groundwater, drinking water and soil for many years caused ulcerative colitis or cancer. As well, their lawsuits claim the manufacturers knew – or should have known—that cancers and other serious issues could develop from PFAS chemicals in their local tap water caused by the dumping and natural run-off of PFAS used in firefighting foams and manufacturing plants.

Bellwether Trial

In August 2022 Judge Gergel issued a scheduling order that calls for the parties to meet and confer over their ranked preferences for which case should be the first to go before a jury, according to The order recommends that, of the first bellwether trial:

“The parties shall meet and confer and, if in agreement, submit by September 9, 2022 the parties’ joint ranked preferences for the first bellwether trial. The parties shall provide a memorandum to the Court explaining why each case is so ranked relative to each other case. If the parties are not in agreement, however, on or before the same date each side shall file its own ranked preferences for the first bellwether trial with supporting memoranda explaining each case’s ranking relative to each other case.”

The new schedule ordered:
  • Expert discovery for cases selected for the bellwether pool to complete expert depositions by July 28, 2022.
  • Parties to file motions for summary judgment and Daubert motions by August 15, 2022, with recommendations for the first bellwether trial case to be submitted by October 14, 2022.
  • The court to choose the first bellwether trial case by December 2, 2022 with pretrial motions and motions in limine due by January 9, 2023. Jury selection and trial would begin on or after March 1, 2023.
The order came after both plaintiffs’ and defendants’ requests for deadlines in the cases to be extended by four weeks.

Latest PFAS Complaint Filed

Four plaintiffs filed in September a complaint and seek class action status in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleging more than a dozen firefighting foam manufacturers knowingly supplied the U.S. military with AFFF that infiltrated nearby water supplies.

Ernie Huizar, Ramond Williams, Donald Crook and James Paulk were stationed on a number of military bases that contain PFAS water contamination. Plaintiff Huizar, who was stationed at Camp Lejeune and other bases, claims he was exposed to high levels of PFAS chemicals. All four plaintiffs are currently being checked for cancers and other serious health issues related to the contaminated water. According to the lawsuit, all four plaintiffs and other class members have a “legitimate fear” of developing health problems due to  PFAS exposure.


PFAS Health Risks Legal Help

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