Johnson Controls subsidiary Tyco Fire Products to pay $750 mn to settle ‘forever chemicals’ lawsuit

Johnson Controls subsidiary Tyco Fire Products has settled a lawsuit and agreed to pay $750 million to some U.S. public water systems which charged the company of contaminating the water supplies with toxic “forever chemicals’ ‘ which was used in the firefighting foam made by the company.

However, the settlement will have to be approved by the federal judge before it could be utilized by public water systems in cities, towns to remove the contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

The settlement and the money which will be paid by the company does not constitute in any way an admission of liability or wrongdoing by Tyco, Johnson Controls which it made clear in its regulatory filing. It also added that a charge for the amount was recorded in the second quarter ended March 31.

Paul Napoli, an attorney for the water systems said,  “This settlement resolves claims involving contaminated drinking water and provides compensation critical to protecting our nation’s drinking water supplies and upgrading our water treatment infrastructure to deal with this new emerging threat,”

What Is PFAS And Why Is It Dangerous?

PFAS is an acronym for polyfluoralkyl substances which is a class of chemicals which finds wide use in a number of consumer and commercial products, including firefighting foams, non-stick pans and stain-resistant fabrics. However, the chemical has been designated as carcinogenic or a cancer causing substance. The chemicals have also been named as ‘forever chemicals’ because they remain unchanged in the body or nature for infinite periods.

Dozens of companies including Tyco are facing a slew of lawsuits which have been brought by water systems accusing them of contaminating water sources with PFAS pollution in a South Carolina federal court. The lawsuits alleged that the groundwater was polluted with PFAS after it was used in firefighting foams at firehouses and airports across the country. The lawsuits led to settlements which amounted to $11 billion between major chemical companies and U.S. water systems. The most recent settlement was between water systems and Chemours (CC.N),  Corteva (CTVA.N), and DuPont de Nemours (DD.N) last year for $1.19 billion.

 The latest lawsuit was being heard by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel in Charleston and he also warned that the lawsuits on companies facing PFAS claims could threaten their very existence. The latest settlement which still needs the nod from Judge Richard Gergel will require Tyco to pay $250 million of the settlement by May, and the remaining $500 million six months after the court gives its preliminary approval.

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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