AP NEWS

Judge allows medical monitoring in PFOA contamination case

January 1, 2020 GMT

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont residents seeking damages for chemical contamination in groundwater in their Bennington neighborhood will be allowed to seek the costs of medical monitoring, a federal judge has ruled.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Geoffrey Crawford means the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit against Saint Gobain Performance Plastics can seek continued health monitoring under state law, the Bennington Banner reported.

“This is terrific news and a good step forward for Vermonters exposed to toxic chemicals,” Democratic Sen. Dick Sears said.

The state believes the plastics company is responsible for widespread water contamination with perfluorooctanoic acid, a suspected carcinogen, around two former ChemFab Corp. factories in Bennington.

The suit was filed in May 2016 in federal court in Rutland shortly after elevated levels of PFOA were found in about 400 wells around the former factories.

Crawford ruled in August that the lawsuit can proceed as a class action.

In the spring, Vermont officials announced a settlement in which Saint Gobain had agreed to extend municipal water lines to 245 more homes on the east side of Bennington.