Singleton Schreiber, with its co-counsel from Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, filed two class action lawsuits in Wisconsin Federal Court against corporations they allege manufactured firefighting foam or its components. The Complaints claim that the manufacturers’ foam contaminated hundreds of private wells on residential property in the Town of Campbell. The firms also filed two class action complaints against the City of La Crosse, which used AFFF firefighting foam at the La Crosse Airport located on French Island on which the Town of Campbell is located.
In the property damage complaints, plaintiffs and class members are residential property owners with private wells seeking compensation for loss in value to property and annoyance, discomfort and inconvenience, among other damages. In the medical monitoring complaints, plaintiffs and class members are current and former residents of the Town of Campbell, Wisconsin seeking compensation to establish an early detection program for illness and disease related to the chemical components of the firefighting foam, including “Forever Chemicals” known as PFAS, including PFOS and PFOA.
The manufacturing companies allegedly distributed AFFF with knowledge, and with inadequate warnings, of the toxic effects of AFFF and/or its toxic PFAS components if released into the environment, reaching groundwater accessed by private wells, and then consumed by humans. AFFF manufacturers continued this conduct without regard to the residents of the Town of Campbell whose property would be impacted and who would foreseeably be exposed to these chemicals once they infiltrated the environment, including groundwater and private wells.
For over five decades, the defendant companies provided AFFF and its toxic PFAS components to the City of La Crosse and the La Crosse Regional Airport (“LSE”) The complaints further state that releases of AFFF containing toxic PFAS components from LSE migrated into groundwater and private household wells in the Town. Without knowledge of the presence of PFAS, private properties were contaminated, and residents were exposed to and ingested toxic PFAS components from AFFF, released at LSE.
“These events, spanning several decades, harmed many innocent residents of the Town of Campbell, who never expected their drinking water to be a source of toxic chemicals,” said Kevin Hannon, a leading PFAS litigation attorney at Singleton Schreiber. “They had no idea that their household water had been contaminated by toxic PFAS chemicals and were given no warning by the corporations supplying and creating the hazardous chemicals and substances.”
When PFAS from AFFF are ingested and absorbed into a person’s bloodstream and tissue, they bioaccumulate, biomagnify, and remain in the body for years. As a result, consumption of toxic PFAS components from AFFF are known to alter the structure of a person’s body and cause an increased risk of illness, disease, and disease processes, including but not limited to thyroid disease, testicular cancer, and kidney cancer.
The plaintiffs are represented by Kevin S. Hannon, Paul Starita, and Joseph A. Welsh from Singleton Schreiber, as well as co-counsel Timothy S. Jacobson from Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC.
The federal court case is Stuart Hyttinen, Tamara Hyttinen, Richard Luick, and Joye Luick individually and on behalf of all similarly situated individuals v. THE 3M COMPANY ; TYCO FIRE PRODUCTS, L.P.; JOHNSON CONTROLS INTERNATIONAL, PLC; CHEMGUARD, INC.; BUCKEYE FIRE EQUIPMENT COMPANY; E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS AND COMPANY; THE CHEMOURS COMPANY; THE CHEMOURS COMPANY FC, LLC; CORTEVA, INC.; DUPONT DE NEMOURS INC., f/k/a/ DOWDUPONT, INC.; ARKEMA INC.; AGC CHEMICALS AMERICAS INC.; DYNAXCORPORATION; CLARIANT CORPORATION; BASF CORPORATION; CHEMDESIGN PRODUCTS, INC.; AMEREX CORPORATION; ARCHROMA MANAGEMENT LLC; DEEPWATER CHEMICALS, INC.; NATION FORD CHEMICAL COMPANY; and CHEMICALS, INC. Case No. 23-cv-00706 (W.D. Wis.).
About Singleton Schreiber
With roughly 230 employees and offices throughout the western United States and Hawaii, Gerald Singleton and his team have represented more than 13,000 victims of utility fires and has recovered approximately $2 billion in settlements and verdicts for its clients. Singleton Schreiber is the “go to” law firm for any municipality involved in high stakes litigation. The firm’s attorneys have practiced public law in California for more than two decades in complex, high-profile matters, often obtaining notable results in the process. The firm has deep experience in representing public entities in times of crisis, whether it be massive and destructive wildfires, water contamination (including PFAS issues), and/or the pharmaceutical opioid crisis.