Individuals who suffered health problems linked to exposure to forever chemicals have filed personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturers and distributors of products containing the toxic substances. You also could be entitled to compensation if you suffered ill effects of exposure to perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly called forever chemicals.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition potentially caused by these dangerous materials, contact a South Carolina forever chemicals lawsuit attorney from Jebaily Law Firm. We offer free consultations, so getting answers to your questions and learning about your options won’t cost a cent.
SC Attorney General Sues Manufacturing Companies for PFAS
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson recently filed a civil lawsuit against some of the U.S.’s largest manufacturers and distributors of toxic forever chemicals, alleging that these companies made and sold products despite knowing of their toxic and hazardous nature and the fact that they would cause long-term environmental contamination. The lawsuit follows other civil actions filed by state attorneys general, local municipalities, and public water utilities against various manufacturers of forever chemicals. Several manufacturers recently settled a class-action lawsuit filed by water utilities across the U.S.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit named multiple manufacturers and distributors of perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including 3M, DuPont, and several subsidiaries and affiliates. The AG filed the lawsuit because “when companies knowingly violate the law and harm South Carolinians in the process, there deserves to be consequences.”
Although the complaint did not seek a specific amount in damages, those familiar with the case believe 3M and DuPont could face hundreds of millions of dollars in liability. So far, nearly every body of water tested by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has contained some level of forever chemical contamination.
3M and DuPont recently agreed to an $11 billion-plus settlement with various public water utilities nationwide that have found PFAS in the water they treat.
What Are Forever Chemicals (PFAS)?
The term “forever chemicals” refers to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Thousands of chemicals fall into the category of PFAS, which manufacturers have used for decades in various industrial and commercial applications, such as:
- Textile manufacturing chemicals
- Waterproofing substances
- Takeout and food storage containers
- Food wrappers
- Non-stick cookware
- Body moisturizers
- Dental floss
Health and environmental experts call PFAS forever chemicals because they break down very slowly and contaminate the environment for long periods. PFAS can enter the environment and contaminate water sources, soil, and the air. PFAS in the water and soil can get into the crops and animals that people consume, leading to a buildup of PFAS levels in their bodies.
What Do PFAS Do to Humans?
Once PFAS enter a person’s body, they cannot be removed. Instead, people must wait until PFAS break down, which takes several years. All the while, they are likely ingesting more PFAS, since products containing them are functionally unavoidable.
Prolonged exposure to high levels of PFAS can cause various health complications and illnesses, such as:
- Reduced immune function
- Decreased vaccine response
- Altered thyroid function
- Liver disease and damage
- Lipid and insulin dysregulation
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease and damage
- Decreases in infant birth weights
- Increased risk of congenital disabilities
- Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease
- Cancer, including kidney and testicular cancer
- High blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia)
What Are the Symptoms of PFAS Exposure?
Due to the wide range of health complications that PFAS exposure may cause and the pervasiveness of these products, it is hard to provide a list of specific related symptoms.
However, some examples of potential indicators include the following:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Abnormal liver enzyme levels
- Decreased vaccine response
- Digestive issues
- Abnormally high or low blood sugar levels
- Unexplained significant weight gain or loss
Who Could Be Liable for PFAS Exposure in South Carolina?
Many companies have manufactured PFAS or distributed products containing PFAS over the last several decades, including these:
What Is a Class-Action Lawsuit Over Forever Chemicals?
Many different individuals and organizations have filed class-action lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of PFAS or products containing PFAS. These lawsuits include a case filed against 3M by various municipalities in the U.S., which resulted in a tentative settlement for over $10 billion, and an action filed against three companies – Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva – which recently agreed to a settlement under which the companies will set up a fund of more than $1 billion to help clean up PFAS from public drinking water systems.
The federal courts have also set up multidistrict litigation (MDL) to manage numerous lawsuits against manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a firefighting foam used by fire departments across the country that contained PFAS. Unlike class actions, where multiple plaintiffs join a single lawsuit, an MDL involves separate lawsuits that the federal courts consolidate for pretrial proceedings in a single court before returning each lawsuit to its original district court for trial.
People who have suffered harm from exposure to PFAS, either from consumer products or environmental contamination, may have the right to file or join class-action lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of PFAS-containing products. Doing so could allow them to recover compensation for medical harm caused by toxic exposure.
A DuPont class action lawsuit can provide injured people with compensation for losses such as:
- Costs of regular health screenings and medical treatment for illnesses or health conditions caused by PFAS exposure
- Costs of ongoing care and support for long-term or permanent disabilities and impairments caused by health problems
- Loss of income when a person cannot work due to health problems caused by PFAS
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life and reduced life expectancy
Contact Our Experienced South Carolina Class-Action PFAS Lawyers
If you have suffered health problems or medical complications from exposure to forever chemicals, you may have the right to pursue financial compensation. Contact Jebaily Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how our South Carolina class-action lawyers can help you.