Bloomberg is reporting that 3M and the two companies responsible for the liability of what used to be DuPont have agreed to pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the City of Rome, Georgia for the cost of engineering and operating the treatment necessary to remove the minute concentrations of the forever chemicals known collectively as PFAS that have now been determined by EPA to be unacceptable in drinking water.
Bloomberg is also reporting that Chemours, which was spun out of DuPont, Dupont, and a third company, Corteva, have also agreed to pay almost 1.2 billion dollars to settle claims by most of the water providers around the country that have sought to recover similar sorts of costs from the PFAS manufacturers.
Meanwhile next week the first "bellwether" trial begins in the PFAS Multi-District Litigation resident in Federal District Court in South Carolina. The plaintiff in that case is Stuart, Florida which seeks approximately $100 million in treatment costs and hundreds of millions more in punitive damages. The defendant in that case is 3M as the claims against DuPont have been severed.
It isn't immediately clear whether and to what extent the DuPont/Chemours/Corteva settlement reported today will affect some number of the cases against DuPont and Chemours pending in South Carolina. There are hundreds and hundreds of those cases.
South Carolina Federal District Court Judge Richard Gergel has said these cases are an "existential threat" to the PFAS manufacturers involved. One certainly has to wonder about the capacity of these companies to hand out nine figure settlements like Halloween candy. If I had a claim, I'd consider not being last to the candy bowl. But we might also consider whether the courts were the best place to sort out the best response to the PFAS that have been in our environment for decades and how the costs of that response should be apportioned.
3M Co., DuPont de Nemours Inc. and other makers of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have agreed to pay more than $100 million to resolve a Georgia city’s lawsuit claiming the chemicals polluted its drinking water, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Rome, Georgia settled with 3M, DuPont, DuPont spinoff Chemours Co. and other PFAS makers on May 30. The city sued the companies in Floyd County Superior Court over PFAS were used as stain-proofing agents in carpeting produced in local plants. The settlement comes on the eve of trial in the case, which had been scheduled to begin Monday.