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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

3M, DuPont Defeat Class Action vs Forever Chemicals

A US appeals court has handed 3M, Corteva Inc. subsidiary E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., and other manufacturers of toxic so-called "forever chemicals" a big win in their fight against legal liability for the substances, rejecting a lower court's ruling that would have allowed about 11.8 million Ohio residents to sue the companies as a group.


The court found lead plaintiff Kevin Hardwick filed too broad a complaint against the manufacturers and had not shown per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), found in his body, could be traced directly to the defendants such as units of 3M, DuPont, and others. I Photo: 3M



The Cincinnati, Ohio-based 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court's approval of the massive class action, which included virtually every resident of Ohio and put considerable legal pressure on the chemical manufacturers to settle the plaintiffs' claims, as reported by Clark Mindock for Reuters.


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"Seldom is so ambitious a case filed on so slight a basis," wrote Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge, noting there are thousands of companies that have manufactured PFAS but just 10 listed as defendants in the case.


The court found lead plaintiff Kevin Hardwick filed too broad a complaint against the manufacturers and had not shown per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), found in his body, could be traced directly to the defendants such as units of 3M, DuPont, and others.


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The court said Hardwick's complaint “rarely” targeted the actions of any one company and instead accused the companies collectively of contaminating the environment with the chemicals.




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