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DuPont PFOA Water Contamination Settlement

On August 8, 2011, the attorneys at Lieberman & Blecher succeeded in attaining an $8.2 million settlement for the class members of two class action suits against DuPont for the contamination of their water supply. The cases arose out of exposure to PFOA resulting from DuPont’s release of the chemical into the Delaware River and a nearby landfill by its DuPont Chamber Works plant. The company’s release of PFOA resulted in the contamination of the water supply, exposing 4,248 homes in Salem County to the chemical.

Judge Renee Bumb of the District of New Jersey upheld the claim of nuisance, due to the potential ill effects of the contamination on the property values of the exposed land, which harmed homeowners’ ability to use and enjoy their property.

Judge Bumb rejected the original settlement put forth by the parties on the basis that the agreement did not provide the class members as a whole with adequate injunctive relief, as required by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2). Judge Bumb found that the majority of the settlement money would have been distributed to outside organizations and not the homeowners.

A revised settlement was agreed upon by the parties and was subsequently approved by Judge Bumb. The class members are happy with the outcome of the settlement, which gave them a choice between collecting $800 and receiving an in-home water filtration system, replacement cartridges, and $200 for the installation of the system. This outcome gave the class members the ability to protect themselves from the potential harm resulting from DuPont’s actions.

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