San Diego Sues AFFF Manufacturers Over Groundwater Contamination

The City of San Diego has filed suit against twenty-four chemical companies responsible for manufacturing, distributing, supplying, and/or selling aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). The city is seeking to recoup the costs of remediating the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its municipal water and natural resources.

The named defendants are 3M Co., Buckeye Fire Equipment Co., Carrier Global Corp., Kidde-Fenwal, Inc., Kidde PLC, Inc., Raytheon Technologies Corp., UTC Fire & Security Americas Corp., Chemguard, Inc., National Foam, Inc., Tyco Fire Products LP, AGC Chemicals Americas, Inc., Archroma U.S., Inc., Arkema, Inc., BASF Corp., Chemdesign Products, Inc., Chemicals Incorporated, The Chemours Co., The Chemours Co. FC, LLC, Clariant Corp., Corteva, Inc., DuPont De Nemours, Inc., E.I. Du Pont De Nemours And Co., Deepwater Chemicals, Inc., and Dynax Corp. The suit was filed in state court and alleges lists six state-law based counts:

  1. Public Nuisance – Abatement
  2. Public Nuisance – Damages
  3. Defective Design
  4. Failure To Warn
  5. Trespass
  6. Negligence

Here is a copy of the complaint:

Due to the large number of suits of this nature, the federal court system has directed all federal lawsuits involving AFFF and PFAS to the US District Court for the District of South Carolina. We will see if the defendants try get the state law complaint removed to federal court, and them moved to South Carolina.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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