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Lawsuit Alleges Tyco Failed to Keep Wisconsin Residents Safe From PFAS
In March 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Tyco Fire Products alleging that the company violated state laws by releasing PFAS into the environment in Marinette and Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
Tyco Fire Products knowingly violated the state spills law when it failed for years to notify the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about the discharges of toxic PFAS, and failed to take action to clean up the contamination, according to the lawsuit.
Tyco, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls, tested fire fighting foam containing PFAS outdoors from 1962 until ending the practice in 2017. The 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 contamination around the Tyco property, of which the extent is unknown because of a lack of investigation from the company.
“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 PFAS 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 PFOA and more than 5,000 parts per trillion of PFOS.
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 PFAS 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 PFAS?
PFAS — or 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.
PFAS 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.
See the other product liability lawsuits our lawyers have taken on.
PFAS Health Effects
- Kidney and Testicular Cancer
- Liver damage
- Thyroid disease
- Decreased fertility
- High cholesterol
- Hormone suppression
- Low birth weights
- And more
Tyco Fire Water Contamination Settlement
In January 2022, residents in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, won a 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 Fire Products LP et al, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, No. 2:19-cv-00422.
PFAS Multidistrict Litigation
The Tyco water 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 (AFFFs) 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 PFAS-related lawsuits filed in federal courts between July 2005 and March 2022.
Total PFAS liabilities could reach $30 billion in a “worst-case scenario” for the company, according to some estimates.
Related Article: DuPont AFFF Suit
Get a Free Tyco Fire Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Tyco Fire Lawsuits. Our law firm is handling individual PFAS 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 our law firm immediately for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.