Faraci Lange, LLP and Attorney Stephen Schwarz have helped secure a $65.25 million settlement for the plaintiff class in the Hoosick Falls PFOA water contamination federal lawsuit. The settlement will help compensate the victims and provide for future medical monitoring services.
Defendants in the water contamination lawsuit are:
- Honeywell International
- Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics
Each defendant had been accused of negligently allowing chemicals that were used in their Hoosick and Hoosick Falls facilities to contaminate local drinking water sources. Furthermore, health officials waited more than a year after PFOA was detected in high levels to notify any Hoosick residents that the village’s drinking water was potentially poisonous. The main contaminant cited in the lawsuit is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is a carcinogen. With the settlement funding a 10-year medical monitoring program for residents, it should help ensure that locals can get early cancer screenings as needed and, hopefully, catch any cancers that have not already been detected in the community.
Other portions of the multimillion-dollar settlement will be used to compensate homeowners for the decline in their real estate value. Understandably, not many new people want to move into the Hoosick region after news broke that the water sources had been dangerously contaminated due to corporate negligence. Also, people who have wells on their property could earn an additional settlement payout for damage done to their private wells, which will likely need to be significantly maintained, replaced, or abandoned altogether.
Attorney Schwarz helped work with the 10 plaintiffs in the lead case, which acted as the flagship for the class-action toxic chemical exposure lawsuit. Due to the extensive evidence that the lead plaintiffs produced, each of the 10 will receive a larger portion of the overall settlement, which is standard procedure in such cases.
What Happens Next?
The $65 million settlement still needs to be accepted by a federal judge, and DuPont still needs to agree to the settlement. At this time, only the other three defendants have agreed to it. Once the settlement is accepted, there could be an additional hearing for final additions, arguments, and insights, which would then be followed by a finalized settlement.
Afterward, the plaintiff attorneys will work on creating an outreach program to potentially identify other plaintiffs who could join the class. There could be others who have been harmed by the water contamination but moved away from Hoosick before the case picked up momentum. Assuming the settlement is agreed upon, though, everyone affected by the contaminated drinking water in Hoosick and Hoosick Falls could see the benefits of the settlement sooner than later.
For more information about this case and the settlement, you can click here to view a full article from Times Union. (Log-in or subscription information may be required.) To learn more about Partner-Attorney Stephen Schwarz of Faraci Lange, LLP, or if you need our help with a high-stakes case of your own, then please fill out an online contact form now. A member of our firm will get back to you as soon as possible.