PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances)

Lathrop GPM has deep experience developing regulatory strategy and defending litigation in the area of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and we have been involved in some of the nation’s most-publicized cases. PFAS compounds, often referred to as “forever chemicals,” present legal risks for businesses of all kinds, including food processing facilities, chemical companies and other manufacturers. Additionally, municipalities and former military bases are frequently locations with PFAS contamination issues.

PFAS, a family of human-made chemicals, are commonly found in firefighting foam, wastewater treatment sludge, and in a variety of consumer products, from paper and packaging to ski and snowboard waxes to cleaning agents and fabric softeners. There are nearly 5,000 different types of PFAS and the ubiquity of these compounds presents a unique challenge for a wide swath of companies that have worked with various molecular permutations of this class of chemicals. Our expertise comes from years of closely following both the law and the science of PFAS, including PFAS health effects evaluation and standard setting.

Our Efficient Approach to Handling PFAS Matters

We focus on helping clients mitigate PFAS-related risks and regularly provide advice on PFAS compliance issues, including:

  • Assisting clients in dealing with an array of regulatory issues in multiple states.
  • Helping clients avoid litigation and regulatory enforcement where groundwater and surface water contamination issues were found.
  • Conducting due diligence for real estate acquisitions to assess and minimize the risks of potential PFAS liability.
  • Completing PFAS exposure questionnaires in multiple states.

In all our PFAS-related matters, Lathrop GPM aims to achieve efficient and early resolutions. We are one of the most respected class action defense firms in the country, and our trial teams bring extensive environmental class action and mass action defense experience. Some of our attorneys have national reputations in PFAS contamination work, and have defended class and mass actions for decades.

Lathrop GPM puts its clients’ objectives first in formulating case strategy, and we use practical tactics to achieve those objectives. Often, we adopt an aggressive litigation stance toward the question of class certification, deferring the expense of discovery on the merits to later phases of the litigation.  

A Strong Record in Complex PFAS Contamination Cases

Lathrop GPM has an impressive record of successfully managing large, complex PFAS cases. Much of our work has involved landfilling of wastewater treatment sludges eventually determined to have been contaminated by PFAS. We excel at assessing cases, developing effective strategies, reaching efficient resolutions, and, whenever that is not possible, persuasively arguing our cases in the courtroom.

Our attorneys have handled numerous class actions in federal court, and have defeated class certifications, including a multidistrict-litigation (MDL) action alleging individual exposures to manufacturing chemicals. We also have considerable experience in mass tort defense.

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