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NC court rules DuPont companies could be held liable in PFAS contamination lawsuit

The state's Business Court ruling would hold spinoff companies liable if chemical manufacturer DuPont found liable in Attorney General Stein’s 2020 PFAS suit.


In a decision Wednesday, the North Carolina Business Court ruled that if the court finds “old” DuPont liable for PFAS contamination in North Carolina, then subsidaries of the chemical manufacturer could also be liable for damages. The spinoff companies, in addition to Chemours, include New DuPont and Corteva.

“Companies cannot engage in corporate shell games to avoid liability for the messes they make,” said Attorney General Josh Stein in a press release. “I’m pleased that this ruling provides that Chemours, DuPont, and its related companies cannot avoid responsibility by engaging in corporate restructuring schemes. Our fight for clean drinking water continues.”

In October 2020, Stein sued DuPont, Chemours, and other companies over the ways in which the manufacturing, use, and disposal of PFAS have polluted North Carolina’s drinking water and other natural resources. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of toxic and pervasive chemicals colloquially referred to as "forever chemicals" for their inability to naturally break down in the environment and human body. 

The North Carolina Business Court ruled Wednesday that if old DuPont is found liable for contaminating North Carolina’s natural resources with “forever” PFAS chemicals, then New DuPont and Corteva can also be held financially responsible for damages. 

A copy of the order is available here.

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