Judge Tosses PFAS Lawsuit

Appeals Court Judge Tosses PFAS Lawsuit Against 3M, DuPont and Others

Nov. 28, 2023

A U.S. appeals court instructed a lower court to dismiss a lawsuit on Nov. 27 against 3M, DuPont and several other makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

“Seldom is so ambitious a case filed on so slight a basis,” wrote Sixth U.S. Circuit Court Judge Raymond M. Kethledge in his opinion

The overturned class certification would have covered every Ohioan in a major case over exposure to “forever chemicals,” according to a Bloomberg Law report

The lead plaintiff Kevin Hardwick, a firefighter exposed to foams containing PFAS, alleged in a 2018 filing that the defendants caused his blood to be contaminated with PFAS.

Kethledge stated that Hardwick doesn’t know which companies manufactured the particular chemicals in his bloodstream and doesn’t know if they may someday make him sick. He also noted that Hardwick is not currently sick or showing symptoms of illness.

“Yet, of the thousands of companies that have manufactured chemicals of this general type over the past half-century, Hardwick has chosen to sue the ten defendants present here,” the judge wrote. “His allegations regarding those defendants are both collective—rarely does he allege an action by a specific defendant—and conclusory.”

The decision likely ends Hardwick’s lawsuit against the 10 PFAS manufacturers, the Bloomberg Law article stated. The lawsuit would have covered 11.8 million Ohio residents with at least 0.05 parts per trillion of perfluorooctanoic acid and at least 0.05 parts per trillion of any other PFAS in their blood, Bloomberg stated. 

About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Executive Editor

Jonathan Katz, executive editor, brings nearly two decades of experience as a B2B journalist to Chemical Processing magazine. He has expertise on a wide range of industrial topics. Jon previously served as the managing editor for IndustryWeek magazine and, most recently, as a freelance writer specializing in content marketing for the manufacturing sector.

His knowledge areas include industrial safety, environmental compliance/sustainability, lean manufacturing/continuous improvement, Industry 4.0/automation and many other topics of interest to the Chemical Processing audience.

When he’s not working, Jon enjoys fishing, hiking and music, including a small but growing vinyl collection.

Jon resides in the Cleveland, Ohio, area.

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