Pensacola Law Firm Scores Major Victory in Fight to Clean Up PFAS in Water

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Levin Papantonio Rafferty (LPR) law firm announced today that a national settlement has been reached between Dupont, Chemours, and Corteveva and the Plaintiffs Executive Committee in the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation for $1.185 billion.

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), which supplies drinking water to more than 180,000 customers throughout Escambia County and Pensacola, is one of the many water providers in the AFFF multidistrict litigation (MDL) that will benefit from the settlement.

Drinking water supplies throughout Florida and the nation have been contaminated with cancer-causing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)–for which there is no known safe level of exposure.

Water providers like ECUA have been harmed by AFFF, which use toxic PFAS as a primary ingredient. Firefighters and military personnel were never told of the hazards associated with these products and followed the Defendants’ instructions to dispose of AFFF directly into the environment leading to drinking water contamination.

The resulting PFAS contamination of drinking water throughout Florida has required extensive investigation and treatment with costs often exceeding tens of millions of dollars for each water utility.

“This settlement will provide much needed funding to water providers throughout Florida and the nation to combat the PFAS crisis,” said LPR Attorney Ned McWilliams, who is serving on the Science and Discovery Committees in the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2873).

LPR Attorney Wes Bowden added that, “LPR is happy to be a part of the team leading the fight against 3M and DuPont.” Bowden is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the AFFF MDL.

“LPR has been fighting for clean water and those who have been injured from PFAS exposure for nearly a decade,” Bowden continued, referring to a 2017 settlement that LPR lawyers reached with DuPont for dumping its C8 chemicals into the Ohio River and into the air from the DuPont plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

“I applaud all those involved in holding DuPont accountable,” Bowden said.


AFFF, sometimes referred to as firefighting foam, has been linked to various types of cancer, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.

The AFFF MDL is a mass tort brought on behalf of water providers and other individuals who have been harmed by exposure to AFFF and/or required to incur cost associated with its remediation.

In 2019, Bowden was appointed to the AFFF MDL’s Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee. McWilliams serves on the MDL’s Science and Discovery committees.

As of May 15, 2023, nearly 4,500 cases have been filed in the AFFF MDL and centralized in the U.S. District Court District of South Carolina for pretrial proceedings presided over by Judge Richard Gergel.

First Bellwether Trial Slated for Next Week

Three bellwether cases in the AFFF MDL were selected to proceed to trial in 2023. The City of Stuart was chosen to be the first bellwether trial ( City of Stuart, Fl. v. 3M Co. et al., (No. 2:18-cv-03487)). Gary Douglas of the Douglas and London Firm, Bowden and McWilliams will serve as trial counsel for the City. The trial is scheduled to begin next week.