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Tyco Fire Products Water Contamination Lawsuit Attorney

The Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against Tyco Fire Products and Johnson Controls and for allegedly violating the state’s hazardous spills law by discharging PFAS chemicals into the area around its Marinette Fire Training Facility.
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Tyco Fire Settlement Update

Eligible Class Members will begin receiving payments on May 31, 2022. Members may be issued multiple payment checks by the settlement administrator, depending on the claims they submitted. Not all cash payment checks will be issued simultaneously, and depending on when their claim form was considered complete, some eligible Class Members placement will receive payments on a rolling basis from the Claims Administrator.

If you are a Class Member and you have not received your payment grid as a part of the May 31, 2022 distribution class period, your claim may still be considered eligible as a result of additional information provided subsequently. If you do not qualify for payment, you will receive denial letters in the mail. The Settlement Administrator is required to ensure that only valid claims receive compensation.

For Class Members who submitted well test documentation in support of their claim(s), please keep in mind that a “Well Test shall be measured in PPT of total PFOA and PFOS”. The Settlement Administrator has utilized PFOA and PFOS as the only 2 compounds that comprise “Total PFAS” when determining a Class Members’ qualification for appropriate settlement compensation.

Lawsuit Alleges Tyco Failed to Keep Wisconsin Residents Safe From Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

In March 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Tyco Products alleging that the company violated state laws by releasing forever into the environment in Marinette and Peshtigo, Wisconsin.

Tyco knowingly violated the state spills law when it failed for years to notify the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about the discharges of toxic per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances and failed to take action to clean up the PFAS contamination, according to the lawsuit.

Tyco, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls, tested firefighting foam containing per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances outdoors from 1962 until ending the practice in 2017. The firefighting foam ended up on the soil surrounding the company’s fire training center, as well as in the Marinette sewer system when the foam was washed into drains. Tyco, formerly known as the Ansul Company, was purchased by Johnson Controls in 2016.

According to the complaint, the testing resulted in a plume of PFOS water contamination around the Tyco property, of which the extent is unknown because of a lack of investigation from the company.

Related Article: PFAS Exposure Lawsuit Update

“When companies contaminate our water, they must fully remediate the harm they’ve caused. Every Wisconsinite should be able to rely on the safety of the water they drink,” the complaint states. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice is committed to protecting the public and holding accountable those who endanger the health of Wisconsinites.”

The complaint further alleges that Tyco knew their property had elevated levels of forever chemical in soil and water in 2013 when the company had testing done after its plant in Germany was tested. The results of those tests showed concentrations of more than 400 parts per trillion of perfluorooctanoic acid and more than 5,000 parts per trillion of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid.

The highest concentration found in groundwater samples at the time was 254,000 parts per trillion and in sail was 122,000 parts per trillion, according to the lawsuit.

Tyco did not notify the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about the results but continued sampling in 2014, 2016, and 2017. All results showed extremely elevated levels of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the soil and water on the property.

The company did not notify the DNR of the results until November 2017 and did not submit a notification for a hazardous substance discharge to the agency until January 2018, the complaint states.

What are Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging, and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the environment and the human body over time.

These chemicals have been linked to types of kidney and testicular cancers, lower birth weights, harm to immune and reproductive systems, altered hormone regulation, and altered thyroid hormones. The chemicals enter the human body largely through drinking water.

Health Effects

  • Kidney and Testicular Cancer
  • Liver damage
  • Thyroid disease
  • Decreased fertility
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Hormone suppression
  • Low birth weights
  • And more

PFAS Contamination Settlement

In January 2021, residents in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, won a fourth amended class settlement from Tyco after being exposed to the chemicals, which have contaminated private wells. In all, about 270 households were awarded $17.5 million.

Under the terms of the deal, $15 million will compensate members of the putative class for property damage and personal harm suffered, and $2.5 million will be allocated individually to those who have been diagnosed with one of five diseases, including testicular and kidney cancers.

The case is Campbell et al v. Tyco LP et al, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, No. 2:19-cv-00422.

Multidistrict Litigation

The Tyco PFAS contamination settlement is among about 500 cases that make up a pending multi-district litigation (MDL) in which plaintiffs allege being injured through drinking water by film-forming foams at industrial and military sites as well as airports.

Corporations including DuPont, 3M Co., Chemguard Inc., Kidde-Fenwal Inc., National Foam Inc., and Dynax Corp. are now being sued, according to a Bloomberg Law analysis of more than 6,400 per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances-related lawsuits filed in federal courts between July 2005 and March 2022.

Total per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances liabilities could reach $30 billion in a “worst-case scenario” for the company, according to some estimates.

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The Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Tyco Fire Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new legal challenges in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one was injured by PFAS contamination, you should contact us immediately for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to a settlement agreement by filing a suit and we can help.

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