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Firefighting foam claims. Insurers encountering PFAS contamination claims face decades of potentially implicated policies and may evaluate pollution exclusions as a basis for limiting or precluding coverage. (Photo: kzenon/Shutterstock)

Does a recent $17,500,000 settlement between residents of the Town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) foreshadow an impending claim boom?

While this January 2021 settlement resolved claims of drinking water contamination at one location, over 600 lawsuits alleging bodily injury and environmental contamination due to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — chemical components of AFFF — are consolidated and beginning the discovery phase in a multi-district litigation (MDL) pending in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina.

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