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Chemical Companies Denied Petition to Challenge PFAS Class Cert

Bloomberg Law

November 26, 2023

  • DuPont, Chemours argued PFAS class action lacks precedent
  • Class of North Carolina plaintiffs could soar above 100,000

A federal appeals court refused to grant chemicals manufacturers’ request to appeal a ruling allowing a class of North Carolina residents to seek money for alleged PFAS damage.

The Nov. 17 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit came about one month after the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina certified a class of state residents who seek reimbursement for property damage that allegedly stemmed from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The Chemours Co. FC LLC and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. requested to appeal Judge James C. Dever’s Oct. 4 ruling. The companies’ counsel argued in a brief that the lack of legal precedent for most of the PFAS at issue disqualifies any potential class action under the immature-tort doctrine.

Plaintiffs argued that the two chemicals manufacturers could afford to pay a massive amount of damages, but counsel for the defendants argued that there could be undue pressure to settle in a class action where members are seeking roughly $5,000 apiece.

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Plaintiffs are represented by Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Susman Godfrey LLP, Whiteman Law Firm, and The Dedendum Group.

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