Many of us assume the water we get from our taps and faucets is safe and clean. However, national news stories about places like Flint, Michigan, make it painfully clear that safe drinking water is not always guaranteed. Even worse, contaminated water can often be traced back to careless or intentional misconduct by corporations. These companies should be held accountable for the harm they cause to local residents.
OnderLaw is here to stand up for our neighbors and community members in the fight against corporate wrongdoing.
Our skilled environmental attorneys are prepared to bring lawsuits on behalf of those suffering from contamination-related conditions. Water contamination lawsuits can be complex proceedings with exceptionally high stakes, making it essential to work with an experienced legal team. We will be your voice and guiding hand throughout the process of getting the compensation you deserve.
Every five years, the Environmental Protection Agency publishes a list of unregulated contaminants that companies and municipal governments responsible for supplying water must test for. These entities must purify their water supplies at their own expense if necessary.
Recently, the EPA placed an increased emphasis on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These substances were previously used to make various water-, grease-, and oil-resistant consumer products and have since been phased out of production in the United States.
Exposure to PFAS—particularly to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—has been linked to serious health problems, including:
Unfortunately, these contaminants are so widespread that many people have been exposed, including developing fetuses and infants.
This problem stems from corporate negligence, as companies like DuPont and 3M manufactured countless consumer products containing PFAS compounds. Other companies used PFAS to manufacture firefighting foam. As a result, these companies continue to be named as defendants in dozens of water contamination lawsuits, many of which are ongoing.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are flame-resistant substances made of solid and liquid chemicals that were once widely used in insulation, industrial and mechanical lubricants, plastic products, and pesticides. PCBs are not naturally occurring and were first manufactured in the United States in 1929, but then they were banned in 1979 after extensive research revealed how toxic they could be to plants, animals, and humans, particularly when they get into drinking water.
Long-term exposure to PCBs is correlated with a host of health problems, ranging from irritation of the skin, nose, and lungs to kidney and liver problems, increased cancer risk, and even psychological issues like fatigue and depression. Children, in particular, are especially susceptible to suffering serious harm from PCB exposure, potentially including developmental delays and birth defects.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to remove PCBs from water once they contaminate it. Boiling PCB-contaminated water does nothing to dissipate the harmful chemicals, and the methods that are effective—the most common of which is called granular activated carbon filtration—can be extremely complicated and expensive to perform.
On top of that, PCB-contaminated water can be dangerous even if you do not use it as drinking water. PCBs can build up in soil used for both small-scale and large-scale farming, be absorbed through the skin while bathing or showering, and even stay on fabrics and dishes washed in polluted water.
Even though it has been against the law to manufacture PCBs or products containing PCBs in the United States since 1979, there are still numerous areas in the U.S. that are dealing with severe PCB contamination in groundwater, rivers, lakes, and other potable water sources. Recently, entire states have filed lawsuits against companies responsible for producing PCBs and allowing them to spread uncontrolled through factory runoff into the surrounding environment.
In 2022, German-based Bayer agreed to pay just under $700 million to the S tate of Oregon to settle litigation pursued by the state against Monsanto, which previously produced numerous products containing PCBs and which Bayer now owns. This is by far the largest amount of money ever recovered by the S tate of Oregon for environmental damage, and it is not the only time Monsanto has paid out a settlement or otherwise been found liable for polluting huge areas of land with PCBs.
Lawsuits of this scale have established a fairly strong legal precedent for smaller-scale litigation against companies that produced dangerous PCB products and then recklessly allowed these extremely harmful chemicals to pollute the water around their factories and cause untold harm to thousands—potentially even millions—of Americans. A knowledgeable water contamination lawyer at OnderLaw can go into further detail about what options for financial recovery you might have related to PCB exposure during a confidential consultation.
Numerous people and entities may have grounds to pursue litigation against a corporation responsible for contaminating their water with PFAS, PCBs, and other dangerous chemicals, including:
There is already substantial legal precedent for successful water contamination lawsuits resulting in settlements of hundreds of millions of dollars. The well-practiced lawyers at OnderLaw can explain your legal options and help you pursue every cent of compensation you deserve for the polluted water in your community.
Contaminated water is often a life-or-death matter. Sadly, many corporations have polluted drinking water and harmed millions of Americans. These companies can and should be held liable for their misconduct through water contamination lawsuits.
The experienced attorneys at OnderLaw are dedicated to standing up for our community and our right to clean drinking water. Call our firm today if you believe your or a loved one suffered harm from polluted water in your area. We will take up your cause and work tirelessly to make things right.