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John Galvin Shares Insights on PFAS Lawsuits

March 19, 2024

Thompson Coburn partner John Galvin was quoted in a Connecticut Law Tribune article on lawsuit filings across the country over alleged high exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used to make items waterproof, nonstick or stain repellant.

John noted that PFAS are “ubiquitous in society” and that “there are lawsuits being brought against almost everyone who had anything to do with PFAS over the years.” However, there are many boundaries for these claims.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court last year determined that the plaintiffs in one case had not alleged an actual injury from exposure to PFAS but had only brought claims of increased risk of future development of disease. “You can’t sue someone because you might get sick in the future,” John noted. “It’s after you’ve sustained an injury that you have a cause of action, a claim against someone.”

John said the science is still being developed when it comes to disease and PFAS, and most data right now shows an association, rather than a direct effect of exposure. “It’s not going to be easy to prove any individual company is responsible and that somebody is going to actually have a disease that is related to exposure to whatever type of PFAS are involved.”

Click here to read the full article.