Firefighting foam company reaches $750 million PFAS settlement

By Shannon Kelleher

The company Tyco Fire Products today reached a $750 million settlement to help resolve claims related to its firefighting foam, which allegedly contaminated drinking water systems with harmful PFAS chemicals for decades.

Once the settlement is approved, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 US public water systems could receive money to treat contaminated drinking water, said Joe Rice, co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs with the Motley Rice law firm. Water systems that test positive for PFAS by May 15 may be eligible to benefit from the settlement.

“$750 million towards this problem, that is a huge contribution,” said Rice.

Tyco, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls, does not admit liability or wrongdoing by agreeing to the settlement.

The announcement builds on last summer’s landmark settlements from the companies 3M, Dupont, and others, which could total up to nearly $14 billion to assist affected water systems as they test for and clean up PFAS contamination. 3M’s settlement received final approval April 1.

Earlier this week, US regulators announced the nation’s first legally enforceable limits for levels of six toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, a move the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says should prevent thousands of deaths and reduce serious illnesses in people across the country.