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$65M settlement proposed in New York polluted water lawsuit

July 22, 2021 GMT
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FILE - This photo from Wednesday June 15, 2016, shows Hoosick Falls residents at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y., holding signs to protest the state's handling of PFOA contamination in their town's drinking water. Plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit could get payments and medical monitoring as part of a proposed $65.25 million settlement with three companies over chemical contamination of the water supply in an upstate New York village. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
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FILE - This photo from Wednesday June 15, 2016, shows Hoosick Falls residents at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y., holding signs to protest the state's handling of PFOA contamination in their town's drinking water. Plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit could get payments and medical monitoring as part of a proposed $65.25 million settlement with three companies over chemical contamination of the water supply in an upstate New York village. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit could get payments and medical monitoring as part of a proposed $65.25 million settlement with three companies over chemical contamination of the water supply in an upstate New York village.

The Times Union reported Wednesday that under the proposed settlement, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Honeywell International and 3M would be compensating plaintiffs who are current or former residents of Hoosick Falls for their exposure to PFOA, a chemical once used in certain industrial processes.

The residents of Hoosick Falls, northwest of Albany and close to the state’s border with Vermont, learned several years ago that their drinking water had been contaminated by PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been connected to cancer and thyroid disease.

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Stephen Schwarz, among the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, called the settlement “an excellent outcome” and said it would “provide immediate compensation to property owners and establish a 10-year medical monitoring program for early identification and referral for treatment of conditions associated with PFOA exposure including cancers.”

Lia LoBello, a spokeswoman for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, said the company was “pleased to have reached a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in the New York class action lawsuit.”

The preliminary settlement must be approved by a judge, after which notice would be sent to all those who could be members of the class, the Times Union reported. They would have time to decide whether to opt out or oppose the settlement, and then a judge would decide whether to approve a final settlement.

A fourth company, DuPont, did not agree to the settlement, the Times Union said, and the lawsuit against them is still in process.