New York, New York—July 11, 2018—Chaffin Luhana LLP, a national plaintiffs-only law firm, is pleased to announce that New York Supreme Court County of Rensselaer Judge Patrick J. McGrath granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in their lawsuit against Defendant Tonoga Inc., d/b/a Taconic (Case/Index No: 253835.)
The Plaintiffs allege that Taconic’s manufacturing facility in Petersburgh, New York contaminated the groundwater and soil with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a man-made chemical that helps create non-stick surfaces for cookware, fabric protectors, stain-resistant carpets, ski wax, and foams used to fight fires. The Plaintiffs, among other things, allege that this contamination led to high PFOA levels in their bodies, which is associated with increased cancerous and non-cancerous conditions in humans and animals.
“Our firm has a long history of being at the forefront of environmental and health litigation,” said Chaffin Luhana founding partner Roopal Luhana. “We work to get just compensation for victims and their families who have suffered injuries from exposure to PFOA contaminated drinking water. We’re eager to take advantage of this and every opportunity to fight for our clients’ rights.”
According to the lawsuit, Taconic and its predecessors manufactured fabrics coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (“PTFE” or “Teflon”) at the Petersburgh facility. Through at least 2013, the company purchased PTFE that contained about one percent perfluorooctanoate (APFO) as a dispersing agent. APFO vaporizes during the PTFE manufacturing process and, once released in the air, cools and condenses to form fine particulate matter that is carried out by the wind. Eventually, precipitation or gravity brings the APFO back down to the ground. When rainwater penetrates the now contaminated soil, the APFO dissolves and dissociates and, under acidic conditions, becomes PFOA. This PFOA tends to remain in the environment as it’s highly resistant to degradation. The Plaintiffs allege that in the case of the Petersburgh plant, the PFOA migrated to the groundwater and was also deposited via improper waste disposal into the groundwater beneath the manufacturing facility.
Well-testing in 2016 revealed that the Petersburgh public water system was contaminated with PFOA, with measurements reaching as high as 140 parts per trillion (ppt). In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set the health advisory level for PFOA concentration at only 70 ppt.
The Lead Plaintiffs in the newly certified class action represent all Petersburgh residents who fit into four separate certified classes, including individuals who own or occupied property in Petersburgh on or before February 20, 2016, and who obtained their drinking water either from the Town of Petersburgh or privately owned wells within a seven (7) mile radius of Taconic’s Petersburgh facility. Individuals also included are those who ingested PFOA-contaminated water from the Petersburgh Water System or from the privately owned wells described above, and had PFOA blood levels above 1.86 parts per billion. The Plaintiffs seek damages for injury to person, property, and nuisance.
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Chaffin Luhana LLP has a successful history of protecting the rights of those who have suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of negligent acts, defective products, dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, and defective medical devices. The firm has handled many high-profile cases in federal and state courts across the country, provided new online resource centers for clients and the public.
To date, the attorneys of Chaffin Luhana LLP have been involved in recovering over $1 billion for their clients during their careers, and the firm itself has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for individually injured plaintiffs. Though unable to guarantee results, the firm has a distinguished track record of success and is highly committed to each case.
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