“BOSTON — Two law firms representing residents affected by the contaminated Hyannis water supply filed a class action lawsuit against several companies in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts last week seeking compensation for those who have fallen ill or experienced other negative effects from exposure to the water.
The lawsuit names as defendants five manufacturers of firefighting foams containing perfluorinated chemicals PFOS and PFOA, which are believed to have contaminated wells serving residents in Hyannis, Hyannisport and West Hyannisport. The foams were previously used at the nearby Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy.
About 200 residents have signed on to the class action suit so far, said Louise Caro, partner at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, the law firm representing the plaintiffs along with the Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates.
The plaintiffs are seeking the establishment of a medical monitoring protocol, which would allow members of the class action suit to receive medical testing for diseases potentially connected to their exposure to the water at the defendants’ expense.
‘The idea is that you shouldn’t have to pay for the testing,’ Caro said. ‘You shouldn’t have to pay for testing for these diseases that are attributed to the exposure’…
Plaintiffs are also asking to be compensated for personal injury as well as declining property values, according to the complaint.
A settlement was reached in a separate, related suit brought by the town of Barnstable against Barnstable County in 2016. Under terms of that agreement, the county will pay the town $2.95 million to reimburse it for capital costs, including carbon treatment systems, associated with cleanup of the contaminated wells.
In December 2017, U.S. District Judge Denise Casper dismissed five of eight counts brought by Barnstable County against many of the same firefighting foam manufacturers named in the class action lawsuit. Casper dismissed the county’s claims that the manufacturers were negligent in selling the products that led to the contamination of soil and groundwater.
Despite the ruling in 2017, Caro said she believes her clients have a strong case. More information has come out recently about what the manufacturing companies, particularly 3M, knew about perfluorinated chemicals and when they knew it, Caro said.”
Read the full article by Madeleine List