August 24, 2020
LANSING – The State of Michigan’s lawsuit seeking damages from manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS, recently overcame several motions to dismiss filed by defendants. Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Jay Quist on Friday heard arguments on the case filed by Attorney General Dana Nessel in January. The judge denied multiple dismissal motions, paving the way for Michigan’s PFAS litigation to move forward.
“We are eager to proceed with discovery and push the case forward now that the defense motions have been denied,” said Nessel. “The Court’s orders affirm that the State can continue to make its case to hold these companies responsible for the impacts of these ‘forever chemicals’ on the environment and on public health.”
The case pending in Kent County will now move into discovery, the stage of litigation in which the parties seek and provide information from one another as allowed under court rules.
The Kent County case against manufacturers of PFAS and PFAS-containing products other than firefighting foam is part of a multi-pronged strategy to find and address PFAS contamination in the State of Michigan. The Attorney General on Thursday filed a pair of complaints in state and federal court seeking damages and costs of PFAS contamination from firefighting foam known as AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam).
“The State is always willing to work cooperatively with responsible parties, but we are prepared to litigate when needed to address PFAS contamination affecting our environment and public health,” said Nessel.
The State also continues to lead the nation in responding to PFAS contamination through the efforts of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART). MPART has conducted multiple investigations to find and protect Michiganders’ drinking water from PFAS contamination, and recently developed and adopted new drinking water standards for PFAS.
Judge Quist denied a total of eight motions to dismiss and granted one, for Arkema France. After Friday’s rulings, the following defendants remain in the case: