Judge Approves Partial Settlement in Alabama Water Contamination Case

(CN) – A federal judge has approved a $5 million partial settlement in a dispute over water contamination in northern Alabama.

Following a hearing on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon granted a joint motion for final approval of a proposed settlement agreement, which was filed by the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority, a water utility in north Alabama, and Daikin America Inc.

Under the terms of the settlement, Daikin agreed to pay $5 million, with the majority of the money to be used to fund a new granular activated carbon filtration system.

The complaint, originally filed in 2015 in the federal court in Birmingham, Alabama, accused multiple corporate defendants of contributing to perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanic acid contamination in the Tennessee River.

In June 2016, the Decatur-based water utility was forced to issue an advisory to its customers against drinking their tap water, based on the level of the chemicals in the water. Gov. Robert Bentley later issued a statement indicating that all Alabama drinking water had been brought into compliance.

According to the May 10 order, the court found the settlement agreement to be “fair, just, reasonable, valid, and adequate.”

Judge Kallon also found that the settlement amount would be used to directly benefit the class members.

The order certified the settlement class as property owners who use water provided by the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority, along with a number of other north Alabama water providers.

The settlement ends Daikin’s involvement in the matter, though claims remain pending against defendants 3M and Dyneon.

%d bloggers like this: