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Hardwick v. 3M Co.

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20160
Nos. 2:18-cv-1185, (S.D. Ohio, 09/30/2019) (Sargus, J.)

A district court denied chemical manufacturing companies' motions to dismiss a lawsuit seeking industry funds to study the human health impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). An ex-firefighter argued that the companies' production of PFAS caused him to be exposed to the substances, and sought equitable relief in the form of a panel of scientists to study the effects PFAS has in his body and for medical monitoring. The companies moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that the firefighter's alleged injury—the mere presence of an unidentified level of PFAS in his blood—did not constitute an injury in fact. The court found the firefighter sufficiently alleged that he used firefighting foams containing PFAS, that PFAS were released because of the company's conduct, that he was exposed to PFAS as result of that conduct, and that he now faces an increased risk of disease requiring medical monitoring and scientific research, thus stating a claim upon which relief could be granted. It therefore denied the companies' motion to dismiss.