PFAS: Expected Litigation Trends | Dechert LLP – JDSupra

Key Takeaways

  • The PFAS litigation landscape – already involving PFAS manufacturers and purchasers of PFAS-containing fluoropolymers and firefighting films – is in the process of expanding, which is putting new companies and new industries in the spotlight, a process that may be accelerated by regulatory developments at the federal level.
  • Public and regulatory attention to the ubiquitous PFAS is also growing in the United States, as reflected by the Biden Administration’s avowed commitment to regulate and study these chemical substances.
  • Companies whose operations and products use, or historically used, any PFAS would be well-advised to consider strategies to evaluate, address, and mitigate legal risks and potential litigation.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have historically been used by a wide range of industries for all kinds of applications across the aerospace, apparel, biotechnology, construction, electronics, and pharmaceutics fields.1 For more than two decades, PFAS have also been subject to litigation and regulatory attention, arising from the ubiquity and persistence of certain PFAS compounds and allegations about exposure-based health impacts. Following on the heels of high-profile litigation against certain manufacturers of PFAS, enterprising plaintiffs’ counsel have sought progressively to identify new potential categories of defendants and claims. While PFAS manufacturers will remain at the center of attention, claimants will also pursue new companies and products in new industries using existing and adapted legal theories.

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