PFAS have earned the nickname “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down easily over time. Companies have found many practical uses for them. Unfortunately, exposure to PFAS can lead to health problems. PFAS contamination might also require costly remediation.
Do you represent an entity handling PFAS remediation? Or were you harmed by exposure to PFAS? Speak with a New York PFAS lawsuit attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP for help and information.
Our team understands the pain you may feel if a company’s negligence has caused harm. We’ll explain why you may wish to file or join a mass tort action to pursue the compensation you deserve. Start today by calling us or contacting us online for a case evaluation.
What Are PFAS Chemicals?
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) include literally thousands of chemicals. Various types of products across a range of industries use PFAS.
Exposure to PFAS carries health risks. Some individuals may be at increased risk of PFAS exposure due to their jobs or where they live.
However, virtually anyone could be at risk of PFAS exposure when these chemicals enter the food supply. The FDA reports that this sometimes happens through animals or plants that may live in areas with PFAS contamination.
What Are the Potential Health Consequences of PFAS Exposure?
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), exposure to PFAS may result in:
- High cholesterol
- Limited response to vaccines in children
- Liver enzyme changes
- High blood pressure risk in pregnant women
- Decreased infant birth weight
- Increased kidney or testicular cancer risk
Who Is At Risk of PFAS Exposure?
The ATSDR states PFAS exposure may occur as a result of:
- Drinking contaminated water
- Consuming fish from contaminated water
- Swallowing contaminated soil or dust
- Consuming food grown or raised near PFAS
- Consuming food whose packaging contains PFAS
- Using consumer products that contain PFAS
According to the ATSDR, workers whose jobs involve processing PFAS or manufacturing products with PFAS may be at a high risk of PFAS exposure. Firefighters and others who use products with PFAS might also be at risk.
PFAS Remediation and Mass Tort Lawsuits
Research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicates about 45 percent of tap water in the U.S. may contain PFAS. PFAS contamination is most common in urban areas.
Remediation, which is the process of removing or destroying PFAS, is often necessary when water supplies contain PFAS. Removing PFAS from the water supply may be costly.
As The New York Times reported, companies like 3M have already arrived at settlements in some PFAS lawsuits. Along with compensating people who developed illnesses due to PFAS exposure, these settlements may provide compensation for remediation. The government agencies or private entities handling remediation may be eligible for such compensation.
What Compensation is Available in a PFAS Lawsuit?
Entities handling PFAS remediation may take legal action to recover the costs. Individuals who file mass tort PFAS lawsuits due to illness may seek:
- Economic damages – Economic damages are compensation for medical bills, lost income, and related economic losses.
- Non-economic damages – A victim who develops an illness resulting from PFAS exposure may experience intangible losses. For example, their illness may cause them significant pain and suffering or mental distress because of a new permanent disability. Non-economic damages cover these types of losses.
What Is a PFAS Mass Tort Lawsuit?
A mass tort is an action or failure to take action that injures many people. When you file a mass tort claim or lawsuit, you may be one of many parties doing so. Some people believe that a mass tort lawsuit is the same as a class action lawsuit. That’s not the case.
Mass torts arise because the same entity caused harm to numerous parties in similar ways. Courts could determine it’s most efficient to combine these parties’ lawsuits together. Sometimes, courts group these lawsuits based on location. Multi-district legislation is the common term for this practice.
In a class action lawsuit, every plaintiff is essentially part of the same case. Mass tort lawsuits are different. Each plaintiff’s case proceeds individually in a mass tort lawsuit.
That means you have more influence over the outcome of a case. For example, you may turn down a settlement offer with a mass tort lawsuit. If you were one of many plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit, you may not have this option.
How Can a New York PFAS Lawsuit Attorney Help You?
A PFAS law firm in New York City can assist you by:
- Reviewing your case – You may not know how to proceed if you think you have reason to file a PFAS lawsuit. An attorney can evaluate your case and explain whether you have grounds to take legal action.
- Gathering documentation of your losses – When you file a claim, you’ll need to include proof of the losses you incurred. For example, you might need to show that your medical care costs a certain amount of money. Or you may need to prove you lost income due to PFAS exposure. An attorney could gather the necessary documentation to support your claim.
- Identifying the liable parties – In a mass tort lawsuit, the odds are that the liable parties are already known. However, there may be exceptions. If it’s not clear who is liable in your case, an attorney can investigate further.
- Handling your claim or lawsuit – Filing a claim or lawsuit requires completing paperwork, submitting evidence, and meeting deadlines. Your attorney can handle these tasks on your behalf.
A lawyer can also negotiate for a fair settlement. If a negligent party’s insurer doesn’t offer the compensation you’re entitled to, a lawyer can push back.
Contact a New York PFAS Lawyer Today
Mass tort lawsuits are unique. When you participate in one, you must hire a lawyer with relevant experience. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our New York PFAS lawsuit attorneys often work on mass tort cases. We’ll happily answer your questions and provide the representation you deserve if you hire us.
Learn more about what we can do for you by calling us or contacting us online for a case review.