Late last month, New Hampshire filed two law suits seeking to recover a variety of costs and damages it alleges have resulted from contamination caused by releases of PFAS. It’s a wide ranging suit; New Hampshire asserted claims for negligence, defective design, failure to warn, trespass, and damage to public trust assets, among others.
And what relief does the state seek? Not much. It merely seeks that the court enter a judgment:
Finding Defendants liable, jointly and severally, for all costs to investigate, clean up, restore, treat, monitor, and otherwise respond to contamination of the State’s property and its groundwater, surface water, fish, wildlife, marine resources, and other natural resources so that such resources are restored to their original condition and are fit for their intended and natural uses, and for all damages to compensate the citizens of New Hampshire for the lost use and value of these resources during all times of injury.
I have no knowledge about the conduct of the companies that manufactured and distributed PFAS. I also don’t know where the science is going to end up regarding the risks posed by PFAS. I am pretty confident, though, that this will not be the last of these law suits that we see. I’m also pretty confident that, regardless of where the science is headed, the public may have already made up its collective mind about the risks of PFAS. Thus, I’m also pretty confident that a lot of lawyers are going to make a lot of money on PFAS litigation before it’s all over.