Read the full article by Jim Kinney
“New York state has filed a second lawsuit against 3M Co. and other manufacturers of firefighting foam containing chemicals believed to have contaminated water supplies around the country, including wells near Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport.
The foam was commonly stored at airports and used either to fight fires or in training exercises.
New York Attorney General Letitia James seeks damages for contamination at more than a dozen sites across that state, saying the companies continued to sell the foam despite being made aware the chemical compounds known as PFOA and PFOS are hazardous.
3M has said publicly that it intends to fight all the claims brought against it.
This most recent New York lawsuit, filed Feb. 8 in a state court in Albany, follows another brought by New York in June 2018 seeking $39 million in damages for cleanup costs at four airports. The most recent suit has no specific dollar amount, according to court papers available through New York’s website.
Locally, the city of Westfield sued in February 2018 in federal court seeking damages from 3M, Chemguard Inc. and Tyco Fire Products LP — three of five manufacturers also named as defendants in the New York suits — related to foam that allegedly contaminated drinking water wells on the north side of the city.
The New York suits also name Buckeye Fire Equipment Co. and National Foam and Kidde-Fenwal Inc.
PFOS and PFOA exposure can result in kidney cancer, testicular cancer, developmental problems in fetuses during pregnancy and breastfed infants, liver ailments, immune effects and thyroid harm, according to all the lawsuits filed on the issue.
Defendants in the Westfield lawsuit had it moved in December from the federal court in Springfield to the federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, where it has been consolidated with 84 lawsuits filed in 12 federal court districts across the country, according to court documents.
Many of those lawsuits have multiple plaintiffs, and one in Colorado was brought by thousands of people who claim damages caused by PFOA and PFOS in groundwater.
Three other suits, besides Westfield’s, come from Massachusetts. All three involve the use of the foam at the Barnstable Airport on Cape Cod. One was filed by the town of Barnstable, one by Barnstable County and one by residents saying their water was contaminated.
Tyco and Chemguard are trying to consolidate the New York lawsuits with the others, according to a report in the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.
In Westfield, PFOS and PFOA contamination has been detected in three city drinking water wells since 2015. Not having those wells has forced the city to ban watering of lawns and other outdoor uses of water in recent summers…”