Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) litigation continues forward

As progress toward bellwether trials and individual personal injury claims increase, 351 new claims have been added to the litigation. As of December, those claims await a decision from Judge Richard Gergel in the United States District Court of South Carolina.

On Dec. 14, Gergel held a fairness hearing to finalize DuPont’s $1.18 billion settlement for municipality water suppliers. Gergel warned that if DuPont continued to object to settlement terms and conditions, it may lead to decades of subsequent litigation.

Another Fairness Hearing is set for early February 2024 for 3M’s $10.3 billion settlement payout to address similar issues.

Of the parties who filed to formalize the initial personal injury bellwether discovery pool, 25 plaintiffs were selected. Included in those were eight claims alleging hypothyroidism and thyroid disease, four claims of ulcerative colitis, eight asserting testicular cancer and five kidney cancer claims.

In January, Gergel granted the parties’ joint motion to extend the discovery deadlines, giving the parties until Jan. 31 to resolve any outstanding discovery disputes.

We remain positive that the mounting pressure to bellwether trials will encourage a global settlement in 2024.

Beasley Allen lawyers in our Toxic Torts Sections are currently investigating claims related to occupational AFFF exposure where individuals have developed cancer, kidney disease, fertility issues, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, and reproductive issues.

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