Johnson Controls settles PFAS lawsuit

Posted on Jan 8, 2021 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
Posted by of Insight Publications

Johnson Controls, the parent company of Tyco Fire Products, has agreed to pay $17.5 million to Peshtigo area residents whose water was contaminated by “forever chemicals” from its Marinette manufacturing plant.

The agreement is part of a settlement in a 2018 class action lawsuit regarding PFAs — manmade chemicals shown to cause health problems — against Tyco and is subject to court approval.

In a statement, Johnson Controls said the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing but “expresses our desire to resolve this litigation so that we can focus on the permanent solutions we have identified to get rid of the PFAS from the (Fire Technology Center).”

Under the proposed settlement anyone who lived or owned property in the covered part of the Town of Peshtigo for at least a year since 1965 will be eligible for compensation. According to the settlement there are more than 300 homes in the roughly three-square-mile area south of Marinette.

In a statement, an attorney representing the plaintiffs said the settlement, the first of its kind in a nationwide litigation, is a “huge milestone” for people harmed by fluorinated firefighting foam, known as AFFF.

“But there is still more work to do as we continue to seek to hold the manufacturers of these chemicals accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted on individuals and the environment,” attorney Paul Napoli said.