Virginia Firefighters Seek $1.5 Billion from PFAS Companies

Six Virginia firefighters and the estate of a deceased firefighter have filed suit against 25 companies associated with per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) seeking $1.5 Billion in damages. The named lead plaintiff in the action is Sara P. Chiaverotti, wife of Virginia Beach Fire Captain Matthew Chiaverotti who died from anaplastic thyroid cancer last year.

The other plaintiffs, four from the Virginia Beach Fire department and two from the Portsmouth Fire Departments, are also suffering from cancer. The suit was filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court last week. A copy of the complaint is not available right now. However, given the mass-tort nature of the claims, and the designation of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina as the venue to PFAS multi-district litigation, we expect the complaint to become available once the case is removed.

There is some conflicting information in the media about the number and identify of named defendants. The Virginia Beach Circuit Court web site indicates 25 defendants, but does not list them beyond the lead defendant, 3M. Some media outlets report there 26 defendants. WTKR has listed the following 25 companies that include the regular list of chemical manufacturers, plus a number of PPE manufacturers.

  1. 3M Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company)
  2. AGC Chemicals Americas, Inc.
  3. Archroma U.S., Inc.
  4. Arkema, Inc.
  5. Blue Ridge Rescue Suppliers, Inc.
  6. Bradsen Solutions, Inc.
  7. Carrier Global corporation
  8. Daikin America, Inc.
  9. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company
  10. Fire Service Plus, Inc.
  11. Globe Manufacturing Company Inc.
  12. Honeywell International, LLC
  13. Honeywell Safety Appliances Company, LLC
  14. Johnson Controls, Inc.
  15. Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.
  16. Lion Group, Inc.
  17. Mallory Safety and Supply, LLC
  18. MSA Safety Sales, LLC
  19. Municipal Emergency Services Inc.
  20. PBI Performance Products, Inc.
  21. Stedfast USA, Inc.
  22. Tencate Protective Fabrics USA (Southern Mills INC.)
  23. The Chemours Company LLC
  24. TYCO Fire Products
  25. W.L Gore & Associates, Inc.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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