Kanner & Whiteley, LLC, together with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, has been retained as Special Counsel to the Vermont Attorney General to represent the State in its efforts to protect Vermont’s drinking water and natural resources from dangerous PFAS chemicals throughout the State. PFAS are a family of chemicals that include PFOS, PFNA, PFHxA, PFHpA, and PFOA. PFAS chemicals are linked to numerous harmful effects, including kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, and adverse effects on fetal development during pregnancy, the liver, the immune system, the thyroid, and cholesterol levels.
On June 26, 2019, Vermont filed two lawsuits against companies for the manufacturing and distribution of PFAS chemicals and PFAS-containing products in the State. One lawsuit specifically focuses on harms caused by PFAS-containing AFFF, a fire fighting foam known to have been used at military bases, airports, and fire training academies. The lawsuits name the 3M Company and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and related DuPont entities as the major chemical makers who manufactured and distributed PFAS chemicals and related products. In addition to 3M and DuPont entities, Chemguard, Inc., Tyco Fire Products, L.P., National Foam, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, and Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. are named as co-defendants in the AFFF firefighting foam action. The lawsuits seek damages for state-wide harm to Vermont’s drinking water and natural resources, including groundwater, surface waters, and wildlife.