Kanner & Whiteley, serving as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the State of Vermont together with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, successfully defeated manufacturers’ attempts to dismiss claims brought by the State for natural resource damages caused by polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a family of man-made chemicals that repel heat, oil, stain, grease, and water that were a popular choice for a variety of household and industrial products, but are known to be toxic and pose significant threats to public health and the environment.
On Thursday, May 28, the Chittenden Superior Court ruled in the State of Vermont’s favor when it denied motions to dismiss the State’s claims against 3M and DuPont for the manufacturing and distribution of PFAS chemicals and PFAS-containing products in Vermont that resulted in the contamination of Vermont’s natural resources. The Court ruled that the State’s case could proceed on nearly all grounds, including products liability, negligence, groundwater protection, and public nuisance. The Court recognized that the public trust doctrine and the parens patriae doctrine give the State the right to assert the other claims in the case. The Court also denied the companies’ attempt to stay consideration of the State’s fraudulent transfer claim relating to DuPont’s corporate spinoff of the Chemours Company. Copies of the Court’s opinions can be found at the links below: