Washington, D.C. Team Pens PFAS Working Paper for Washington Legal Foundation
Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2023) – Washington, D.C. Managing Partner Jane C. Luxton, Partner William J. Walsh, and Law Clerk George Leahy co-authored a working paper for the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), titled “2023 PFAS Chemical Litigation: 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,'” which addresses recent developments and trends in polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) litigation.
The authors open the paper by connecting its title with their overarching observation that “recent PFAS litigation involves more PFAS chemicals, at lower detection limits, and with expanded legal theories (everything) at more sites — including those of downstream product manufacturers and processors that use PFAS in manufacturing products — and in more consumer products (everywhere), at an increased pace (all at once).” They note that the paper follows the 2020 PFAS article that Ms. Luxton and Mr. Walsh authored for WLF and revisits the topic of PFAS lawsuits involving significant personal injury and property damage.
Next, the authors discuss several issues related to PFAS litigation, including regulatory and scientific concerns, early trends in PFAS matters, and an array of recent lawsuits involving a variety of chemicals and manufacturers. They close the article by analyzing four separate factors that they believe help predict the future of PFAS litigation, ultimately observing, “Every factor affecting future PFAS litigation points toward expansion in terms of the number of lawsuits, associated costs, and the PFAS chemicals involved.”
Ms. Luxton is chair of Lewis Brisbois' PFAS Practice, its Environment, Land, & Natural Resources Law Practice, and its Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, as well as co-chair of the Sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Practice, and vice-chair of the Consumer Financial Services Practice. With extensive experience in environmental as well as other federal regulatory, policy, and litigation matters, she advises businesses, associations, and coalitions in navigating all levels of the federal regulatory process, including appellate advocacy.
Mr. Walsh is a member of the firm's Environment, Land, & Natural Resources Law Practice and the Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. He principally focuses his practice in the areas of government policy advocacy, regulatory compliance and counseling, and environmental litigation.
Mr. Leahy is a law clerk at Lewis Brisbois and third-year student at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. He currently serves as the executive editor of the William & Mary Business Law Review.
Read the full WLF working paper here.