U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb recently established a June 2nd trial date for a class action case that our firm and several other firms filed against DuPont in New Jersey federal court. The suit alleges that Dupont’s Chambers Works facility in Salem County, New Jersey. has contaminated area drinking water wells and a local public water supply system with a toxic chemical called PFOA (or C8), ammonium pefluorooctanoate.
Results of quarterly sampling of the Penns Grove Water Supply Company’s (PGWSC’s) production well fields have routinely exceeded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NDEP’s) PFOA Health-Based Guidance Limit of 0.04 ppb in one or more points-of-entry. In addition, numerous private wells in the area have been found to contain PFOA above the NJDEP guidance limit.
In October of last year, Judge Bumb certified the case as a class action for customers of the PGWSC and owners of private drinking water wells that are located within a two-mile radius of the DuPont Chambers Works plant and contain PFOA. According to the Judge’s decision, the sub-class of private well owners will be allowed to pursue claims for private nuisance, while the PGWSC water customer sub-class will be allowed to pursue claims for public nuisance. In addition, the Judge ruled that class treatment was appropriate for a threshold issue involving the class strict liability claims (i.e., whether DuPont’s release of PFOA constitutes an “abnormally dangerous activity”).
Over the next several months, we expect DuPont to file a large number of pre-trial motions in an effort to try and derail or delay the trial of the Plaintiffs’ case. Of course, we intend to do everything that we can to prevent that from happening and to ensure that the class members receive justice. If you need more information on this case, contact David Byrne, a lawyer in the Toxic Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at David.Byrne@beasleyallen.com.