GenX Cases Involving Certain Cancers Filed as PFAS Lawsuits by Individuals May Benefit
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Specifically, the so-called “PFAS CERCLA designation” applies to substances containing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). This PFAS CERCLA designation becomes effective in early 2024, and it may benefit PFAS lawsuits filed in North Carolina for GenX cases involving certain cancers.
Generally, CERCLA establishes liability for all of the following entities:
- Current as well as former owners and operators of facilities where hazardous wastes were released or disposed of;
- Companies that generated and arranged the disposal or transportation of hazardous substances; and,
- Various transporters of hazardous substances.
As such, under the 2024 PFAS CERCLA designation by EPA, any entity that handles a designated PFAS product — not only PFAS product manufacturers — could become liable under CERCLA. Traditionally, this CERCLA legal liability would be for the recovery and remediation costs of PFAS releases or threatened releases into the environment.
However, given that the science of PFAS-related cancers has been developing and more personal injury lawsuits for cancer cases are likely to be filed, some legal commentators suggest that this new PFAS CERLCA designation may benefit plaintiffs in those PFAS lawsuits.
We have been investigating possible PFAS lawsuits for people who have had GenX exposures from water contamination in North Carolina and have been diagnosed with certain types of cancer. In more detail, during the period starting in 2009 up until the date of their cancer diagnosis, the person must have lived in Southeastern North Carolina (from Fayetteville, NC over to the Atlantic coast) for at least one (1) year.
You can learn more about how GenX exposures from water contamination in North Carolina can cause certain cancers — such as kidney, testicular, pancreatic, liver, and prostate cancers — on our GenX Water Contamination Cancers information page.