Lawsuit Claims 3M, Carpet Companies, Caused Alabama Water Contamination

Water utilities in Alabama have filed a lawsuit seeking to force carpet manufacturers to pay for new filtration systems, which would keep stain-blocking chemicals from infiltrating consumers’ drinking water. 

The water contamination lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cherokee County in Alabama by the Water Works and Sewer Board of Centre, Alabama on May 15, against 3M, DuPont, and more than 30 other carpet manufacturers , according to a Bloomberg BNA report.

The complaint indicates that the companies have polluted Alabama’s waterways for years, with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), as well as C-8, which can suppress the immune system and potentially cause hypersensitivity reactions in humans. The chemicals are also linked to a number of cancers and other diseases and health side effects.

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A similar lawsuit was filed by the nearby town of Gadsden in September 2016. The complaint seeks damages from the company, which the water systems in Centre and Gadsden, Alabama will use to upgrade their filtration system and make other improvements.

According to the lawsuits, Dalton, Georgia is considered the carpet manufacturing capitol of the country. Many manufacturers there use chemicals to add stain-blocking effects to carpets, as well as to make them water-proof. Local officials say that those chemicals, including C-8, often end up running off into the local waters.

C-8 is a toxic, cancer-causing agent that stays in the environment indefinitely; never breaking down. Studies have linked C-8 exposure to kidney disease, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, testicular cancer, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and increases in cholesterol.

DuPont has faced C-8 exposure lawsuits from about 3,500 individuals in Ohio and West Virginia who lived near the company’s Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Plaintiffs in those cases alleged that they suffered various injuries due to the release of C-8, which is a chemical used to manufacture products like Teflon and Gore-Tex.

Plaintiffs claimed that DuPont knew for years that C8 from the plant posed serious health problems for area residents, including a risk of cancer, birth defects and other complications. The company also allegedly did little to prevent numerous spills and releases into the environment, the lawsuits claim.

Since November 2013, all complaints filed throughout the federal court system have been centralized for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Following a series of bellwether trials that resulted in multimillion dollar jury verdicts, DuPont and Chemours Co. agreed to pay $671 million to settle C-8 exposure lawsuits earlier this year.

1 Comments

  • JoMay 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I just found out about this lawsuit. Is it too late to be included in the suit??? I lived in Hiawassee/Blairsville, GA for about 5 years, then Jasper, GA for about 6 years all very close to Dalton, GA. I now live in Knoxville, TN, but I have developed Fibromyalgia and very high cholestrol that medication can't seem to bring down. I don't know if these illnesses are a result in C 8 poisoning or[Show More]I just found out about this lawsuit. Is it too late to be included in the suit??? I lived in Hiawassee/Blairsville, GA for about 5 years, then Jasper, GA for about 6 years all very close to Dalton, GA. I now live in Knoxville, TN, but I have developed Fibromyalgia and very high cholestrol that medication can't seem to bring down. I don't know if these illnesses are a result in C 8 poisoning or any other ailment, but I somehow think that many of the illness that have plagued me in GA have led to this terrible diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

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