Partner Jerry Williams and other Williams Cedar lawyers are co-counsel to plaintiffs in Burdickv. Tonoga, Inc. (d/b/a Taconic), a lawsuit filed in Rensselaer County, New York. Burdick arises from the contamination of public and private water supplies in Petersburgh, New York with the toxin perfluorooctanoic (“PFOA”). On July 3, 2018 Judge Patrick J. McGrath of the New York Supreme (trial) Court issued an order permitting the case to proceed as a class action. The court certified four “sub-classes,” consisting of:
1) property owners who consumed contaminated water from the municipal supply ofPetersburgh;
2) owners of private wells contaminated with PFOA within a 7-mile radius of defendant’s facility claiming a loss of property value;
3) private well owners within the 7-mile radius claiming a loss of quiet enjoyment of their property; and
4) residents within the 7-mile radius who consumed the contaminated water and have been shown to have blood-serum concentrations of PFOA above a “background” level of 1.86 parts per billion. These plaintiffs claim damages for medical monitoring due to a risk of future disease due to PFOA exposure.
The court found that each of these classes met all criteria for class certification under New York law. Williams said: “This well-reasoned decision puts the case on the fairest and most efficient path to litigation of the important issues at stake. It will allow our clients and their community to address the harms caused by a toxic exposure they suffered without their knowledge or consent.”