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PFOA Water Contamination Lawsuit: Petersburgh, New York

A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of residents of Petersburgh, New York, against Taconic Plastics for contaminating their water with a dangerous chemical that remains in the environment long after its disposal.  

Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys filed this water contamination lawsuit in Petersburgh, New York, and we urge you to contact us if you live or work in Petersburgh and have become sick due to the PFOAs in the water in your community. We are also helping clients attempt to get compensation for declining property values for their homes and businesses, and for medical monitoring for those who have been exposed to PFOA but have not yet developed a PFOA-related illness.

Case updates have been added

Read Summary Judgment Documents

The company that contaminated your drinking water, Taconic Plastics Limited, has acknowledged its role in creating this environmental hazard. In 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation declared the Taconic facility to be a Superfund site. It is alleged that Taconic knew that the drinking water in Petersburgh was contaminated with PFOA.(1) Under pressure, Taconic has begun to respond to the community’s concerns.

In May 2017, Petersburgh, New York, officials reported the community’s “new [water] infiltration system to remove PFOA is fully operational.”(2)  Taconic worked with the town of Petersburgh to install a granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system to remove PFOA from municipal water (Treatment System).(3)

However, skepticism remains. In fact, the Supreme Court of the State of New York denied Taconic’s request to dismiss charges against the company regarding Taconic’s role in contaminating groundwater in Petersburgh, New York, with PFOA.(4)

In fall 2017, Weitz & Luxenberg, along with other law firms, filed a class action lawsuit against Taconic. This lawsuit is moving forward.

In July 2018, the lawsuit against Taconic Plastics was certified as the first class action PFOA pollution case in New York state. Attorneys from Weitz & Luxenberg are serving as lead counsel on the lawsuit.

In late January 2020, a New York Supreme Court judge gave the case the go-ahead to proceed against Taconic, Inc. This continues to be the first case of its kind in New York state.

On October 1, 2021, a proposed $23.5 million settlement was announced. This settlement compensates Petersburgh residents and businesses for their exposure to PFOA. The defendant, Taconic Plastics, agreed to the proposed class settlement. It includes compensation for contamination to water systems and well water. A key aspect is a 15-year fund for medical monitoring.

Glass of water being held over contaminated lake

Is the Water in Petersburgh New York Safe?

Taconic may want the citizens of Petersburgh to move on and forget the company’s role in the contamination of your community’s water, but the New York court system has concluded Taconic is not going to get away with its misconduct that easily.

Taconic Plastics Limited may be thinking the company has taken appropriate measures to resolve the PFOA hazard Petersburgh residents have been forced to face in recent years. The new water installation system, however, is just the first step in making things right for people living and working in your community.

You and your neighbors may still be wondering if your water is completely safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in. Ultimately, you are the one who has to make the decisions about whether the water you use daily is safe.

You have every reason to be frustrated. Your health matters, and the health of your family, friends, and neighbors matters, too.

At Weitz & Luxenberg, our attorneys care about what you are going through. And, fortunately, we are in a position to hold Taconic responsible for the harm their polluting has done.

We are also holding St. Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and Honeywell, Inc., responsible for PFOA water contamination in nearby Hoosick Falls, New York. We filed a class action lawsuit against these two companies early in 2016.

Weitz & Luxenberg Taking Action Against Taconic

On September 26, 2016, Weitz & Luxenberg took legal action against Taconic. We filed a class action lawsuit against the company, and intend to hold Taconic Plastics Limited responsible for contaminating your drinking water and exposing the community to the toxic chemical PFOA.

On behalf of members of your community, the suit states that Taconic Plastics Limited improperly disposed of a toxic chemical called PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid. Because Taconic did not dispose of PFOA responsibly, the suit claims, this chemical leached into your community’s water supply and that of surrounding areas.

As a result, Taconic should be held responsible. The company should provide your community with appropriate compensation and assistance.

In addition, Taconic should conduct regular testing of private wells in Petersburgh as well as provide health screening measures to detect potential illnesses in members of your community — anyone who might have been affected by Taconic’s toxic chemicals.

Trees and mountains

Water Contamination Attorneys: Petersburgh, New York

When a crisis strikes a community and you can identify a company (or companies) whose actions led to the crisis, you can become a part of the solution. In this case, part of the solution is the class action lawsuit Weitz & Luxenberg has filed on behalf of people in Petersburgh.

“As water contamination becomes an issue not only throughout the Northeast but also across the country, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to identifying the parties responsible and holding them accountable. Particularly in this day and age, companies have a responsibility to respect the environment they inhabit and the people, businesses, and wildlife that share these spaces,” says Robin Greenwald, Practice Group Chair of our Environmental Pollution team at Weitz & Luxenberg.

Residents and business owners of Petersburgh alike have already joined this legal action to hold Taconic responsible for the contaminated drinking water in your community. We invite you to join us as well. Let us be your water contamination attorneys in Petersburgh, New York.

Weitz & Luxenberg encourages you to contact us for a free consultation. One of our attorneys specializing in environmental pollution can help you explore your legal options and eligibility to join this class action lawsuit against Taconic.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may have a right to claim:

  • Medical or health monitoring to determine if have developed an illness related to PFOA
  • Monetary compensation for personal injury
  • Monetary compensation for property damage

Eligibility for Lawsuit in Petersburgh, New York

To determine if you are eligible to participate in this class action lawsuit against Taconic Plastics Limited, one of our Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys may ask you the following types of questions:

  • How long have you lived and/or worked in Petersburgh?
  • Do you own property in Petersburgh? If so, do you know the estimated value?
  • Do you think you have developed a medical problem or illness related to PFOA contaminated water?
  • What is your source of water?
  • Has your water been tested? If yes, do you know the results in PPT, parts per trillion?
  • How many people reside in your household?
  • Has anyone in your home been pregnant in the past two years?

We urge you to contact us right away. Your consultation is free.

The class action lawsuit is moving forward, and we want to make sure you receive appropriate compensation.

You can reach us by calling (833) 977-3437 or by completing the form on this page. One of our attorneys will be in touch with you shortly.

Attorneys Who Fight To Protect Clean Water

We have fought on behalf of people harmed by BP’s oil catastrophe and citizens throughout the Northeast facing water contamination crises similar to those of Petersburgh, New York.

Wherever people’s health, homes, and communities are being violated through the reckless actions of others, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys are at the forefront taking the legal actions necessary to help victims facing the crisis. For 30 years, we have committed ourselves to holding irresponsible companies accountable for the injuries they have caused.

Please do not hesitate to contact us. At Weitz & Luxenberg, we want to seek the compensation you deserve, not only for past disruption and harm but also for illnesses that could develop as a result of your exposure to PFOA.

Testing contaminated water

PFOA Is Widespread and Potentially Dangerous

According to the American Cancer Association, “PFOA has the potential to be a health concern because it can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time. Studies have found that it is present worldwide at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood.”(5)

“Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a synthetic … organic acid.”(6) Manufacturers use PFOA in a number of consumer products because its components help “make products more resistant to stains, grease, and water.”(7)

Over the years, PFOA was used in carpets and fabrics, cookware, water repellent clothing, paper plates, paper and cardboard packaging, and in fire-fighting foams. Another use has been in ski wax.(8)

PFOA is not Teflon. However, PFOA, sometimes referred to as C8, “is used in the process of making Teflon and similar chemicals.”(9) PFOA is a byproduct “of other commercial products.” What this means is that PFOA is “released into the environment when other products are made, used, or discarded.”(10)

PFOA is just one type of chemical that falls into a category of compounds called perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs.(11) “PFCs break down very slowly in the environment and are often characterized as persistent.”(12) PFCs, including PFOA, are also widespread, exposing both human beings and wildlife to their potential hazards.(13)

PFOA Health Complications

Over the years, researchers have conducted a number of studies to determine the potential health complications related to PFOA and other toxic chemicals. Possible health complications of PFOA exposure include:

  • Kidney, prostate, ovarian, and testicular cancer(14) (15)
  • Thyroid diseases, such as hypothyroidism, Grave’s Disease, and Hashimoto’s Disease(16)
  • Elevated cholesterol(17)
  • Obesity(18)
  • Immune suppression(19)
  • Endocrine disruption(20)
  • Osteoporosis(21)
  • Ulcerative colitis(22)
  • Osteoarthritis(23)
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension(24)

Weitz & Luxenberg: A National Firm You Can Count On

Weitz & Luxenberg is a national law firm with a proven record dating back 30 years. Over the course of those three decades, we have won billions of dollars for thousands of clients who have been harmed because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness.

Often, that “someone” is a large company. Our specialized environmental attorneys are fully prepared to take on large companies and handle intricate, complex lawsuits.

We have made it our mission to represent people who have been harmed by the actions of large manufacturers that take shortcuts in an effort to cut costs and increase their profit margins.

We urge you to join us as we move forward with our class action suit against Taconic. We would like to see you receive the compensation and restitution you deserve.

Summary Judgment Documents

01 Order on Summary Judgment (Jan. 24, 2020)

02 Pltfs Memo in Opposition to Mtn for Summary Judgment (May 3 2019) (Redacted)

03 Attorney Affidavit of J. Bilsborrow (May 3 2019)

04 Exhibit 1 – Depo. of Larry Carroll

05 Exhibit 2 – Taconic Ltr to NYS Senate (Sept. 2016)

06 Exhibit 3 – Depo. of Kevin Stevens

07 Exhibit 4 – Depo. of Carol Goodermote

08 Exhibit 5 – Depo. of Tim Kosto

09 Exhibit 6 – MSDS for FC-118 Fluorad

10 Exhibit 7 – Depo. of Malcolm Green

11 Exhibit 8 – Depo. of Tad Hewitt

12 Exhibit 9 – Depo. of Andrew Kawczak

13 Exhibit 10 – MSDS for Teflon PTFE Fluoropolymer Dispersion

14 Exhibit 11 – Depo. of Ray Guber

15 Exhibit 12 – Depo. of Harvey Teal

16 Exhibit 13 – 1997 Memo re DEC site visit

17 Exhibit 14 – 1997 DEC Memo re Taconic Emissions

18 Exhibit 15 – 1997 Ltr from Taconic re Emissions Testing

19 Exhibit 16 – 1997 Ltr from Adirondack re-Emissions Testing

20 Exhibit 17 – 2000 Consent Decree with DEC

21 Exhibit 18 – 1996 Ltr from Taconic re Installation of Evaporator

22 Exhibit 19 – 2001 Memo re Meeting with DuPont

23 Exhibit 20 – 2002 Memo re Meeting with DuPont

24 Exhibit 21 – 2002 Email from C. Goodermote re C8 environmental issues

25 Exhibit 22 – 2002 Memo re Meeting with DuPont

26 Exhibit 23 – 2003 Memo re Meeting with DuPont

27 Exhibit 24 – 2003 Proposal for Stack Testing

28 Exhibit 25 – 2003 Email from A. Kawczak re C8 sampling and analysis

29 Exhibit 26 – 2003 Email from A. Kawczak re NYT article on PFOA health risks

30 Exhibit 27 – 2003 Memo re PFOA and PPE at Taconic

31 Exhibit 28 – 2003 Email from T. Kosto re APFO tests

32 Exhibit 29 – 2003 Email from J. O Keefe re PFOA results by Adirondack

33 Exhibit 30 – 2003 SPI Request for Participation in Dispersion Processors Material Study

34 Exhibit 31 – 2003 Email from T. Kosto re FPG Mtg and FPG Mtg Agenda

35 Exhibit 32 – 2005 Email from A. Weidman re PR Release from DuPont

36 Exhibit 33 – 2004 Email from T. Kosto re EPA understanding of PFOA

37 Exhibit 34 – 2003 EPA Presentation – Fluoropolymers in the Environment

38 Exhibit 35 – 2004 Exygen Water Sampling of Taconic Site

39 Exhibit 36 – 2004 Exygen Water Sampling of Taconic Site

40 Exhibit 37 – 2005 Exygen Water Sampling of Taconic Site

41 Exhibit 38 – 2005 EPA Science Advisory Board draft report on PFOA

42 Exhibit 39 – 2005 Email from A. Weidman re WV health screenings

43 Exhibit 40 – 2005 Taconic Memo re PFOA summary and assessment

44 Exhibit 41 – Depo. of Suzanne Seymour

45 Exhibit 42 – Taconic and Surrounding Areas map

46 Exhibit 43 – 2005 Email from A. Kawczak re communication strategy

47 Exhibit 44 – 2005 Ltr from A. Kawczak to DEC

48 Exhibit 45 – 2011 PFOA White Paper

49 Exhibit 46 – 2005 Maintenance PFOA and PPE Review

50 Exhibit 47 – 2005 Ltr from Solvay Solexis re Conversion of PTFE to Lite APFO Grades

51 Exhibit 48 – 2007 Ltr from Daikin re PTFE with low APFO content

52 Exhibit 49 – Taconic emails tracking PFOA news

53 Exhibit 50 – 2009 Email from L. Carroll re PFOA strategy meeting

54 Exhibit 51 – 2009 Email from A. Kawczak re strategy meeting

55 Exhibit 52 – 2011 Email from A. Kawczak re PFOA and drinking water monitoring

56 Exhibit 53 – 2012 Email from A. Kawczak re vaccines

57 Exhibit 54 – 2012 Email from A. Kawczak re PFOA linked to liver damage

58 Exhibit 55 – 2016 Consent Decree with DEC

59 Exhibit 56 – 1991 Taconic Permit Application Package

60 Exhibit 57 – Affidavits by Plaintiffs Supporting Case

61 Affidavit of Hyeong Moo Shin (April 2019)

62 Shin Ex. D – Dispersion Processor Material Balance Project report

63 Shin Ex. E – Literature References

64 Shin Ex. F – Petersburgh PFOA map as of April 2016

65 Shin Ex. G – MSDS for FC-118 Fluorad

66 Shin Ex. I – 2005 Taconic Q & A Document

67 Shin Ex. J – Summary of PTFE Purchases Years 2006 to 2013

68 Shin Ex. K – 1991 Memo from H. Teal to All Employees re Smog Hog

69 Shin Ex. L – 1996 Memo from M. Green re Smog Hog waste

70 Shin Ex. M – 2014 O Brien & Gere air dispersion modeling report

71 Shin Ex. N – 1996 Memo from M. Green to DEC re Taconic evaporator unit

72 Shin Ex. O – Plot of Distance versus PFOA Concentration

73 Shin Ex. Q – Pownal PFOA Sampling Map

74 Shin Ex. R – Petersburgh Elevation Map

75 Shin Ex. S – New York and Vermont PFOA Sampling Map

76 Shin Ex. T – New York and Vermont Elevation Map

77 Shin Ex. U – Petersburgh Landfill Site Plan

78 Shin Ex. V – Little Hoosic River PFOA Sampling Map

79 Shin Ex. W – 2003 Adirondack Industrial Hygiene Monitoring report

80 Shin Ex. X – 2003 Email from Adirondack re industrial hygiene testing

81 Affidavit of Donald I. Siegel

82 Siegel Ex. D – 1996 Ltr re removal of wastewater containing Teflon resin particles

83 Affidavit of Nicholas P. Cheremisinoff

84 Cheremisinoff Ex. C – DEC Press Release re 2000 Consent Decree with Taconic

85 Cheremisinoff Ex. D – 1999 Memo from J. Shorter re DEC Meeting

86 Affidavit of David A. Savitz

87 Affidavit of Jeffrey Zabel