You may have heard that the State of California has filed a lawsuit against 3M and a significant number of other defendants and possible defendants over PFAS chemicals.
Here is some wording from the lengthy Complaint:
- Defendants knew or should have known that PFAS were toxic and harmful to
human health and the environment, yet they continued to produce PFAS and/or products
Depending on the circumstances of a particular situation, it is possible that that type of in hindsight wording might be alleged against a large number of entities that use or are associated with chemicals not necessarily only PFAS, including public and private businesses, governmental and public entities, nonprofits, etc. Of course, whether or not it is established that there is or was a breach of duty and wrongdoing, liability, damages, allocation of damages v. joint and several, and mitigation are issues and matters that must be determined based on the relevant laws and the evidence that can be established. The following is a link to the California Attorney General press release re the lawsuit https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-bonta-sues-manufacturers-toxic-forever-chemicals
Perhaps this can be used as a reminder to review your production or use of, or involvement or association with chemicals or products or land with chemicals. Obviously chemical and environmental matters and issues can involve a number of people within a business, governmental, nonprofit or other entity or organization including not only executive officers but also directors and the board and committees including audit committee, general counsel, mid-management, internal and outside auditors, compliance and safety officers and professionals, employees and whistleblowers, and others.
The following is a snapshot of the first page of the Complaint:
Thank you for viewing and reading. Please pass this along to other people who would be interested as it is through collaboration and sharing that great things and success occur more quickly..
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Best to you,
David Tate, Esq. (and inactive CPA)
- Business litigation and disputes – business, breach of contract/commercial, co-owners, shareholders, investors, founders, workplace and employment, environmental, D&O, governance, boards and committees.
- Trust, estate and probate court litigation and disputes – trust, estate, probate, elder and dependent abuse, conservatorship, POA, real property, mental health and care, mental capacity, undue influence, conflicts of interest, and contentious administrations.
- Governance, boards, audit and governance committees, investigations, auditing, ESG, etc.
- Mediator and facilitating dispute resolution:
- Trust, estate, probate, conservatorship, elder and dependent abuse, etc.
- Business, breach of contract/commercial, owner, shareholder, investor, etc.
- D&O, board, audit and governance committee, accountant and CPA related.
- Other: workplace and employment, environmental, trade secret.
Remember, every case and situation is different. It is important to obtain and evaluate all of the evidence that is available, and to apply that evidence to the applicable standards and laws. You do need to consult with an attorney and other professionals about your particular situation. This post is not a solicitation for legal or other services inside of or outside of California, and, of course, this post only is a summary of information that changes from time to time, and does not apply to any particular situation or to your specific situation. So . . . you cannot rely on this post for your situation or as legal or other professional advice or representation, or as or for my opinions and views on the subject matter.
Also note – sometimes I include links to or comments about materials from other organizations or people – if I do so, it is because I believe that the materials are worthwhile reading or viewing; however, that doesn’t mean that I don’t or might not have a different view about some or even all of the subject matter or materials, or that I necessarily agree with, or agree with everything about or relating to, that organization or person, or those materials or the subject matter.
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My two blogs are:
http://tateattorney.com – business, D&O, audit committee, governance, compliance, etc. – previously at http://auditcommitteeupdate.com
Trust, estate, conservatorship, elder and elder abuse, etc. litigation and contentious administrations http://californiaestatetrust.com
David Tate, Esq. (and inactive California CPA) – practicing only as an attorney in California.