After more than five years of effort on behalf of Bennington’s citizens, we are pleased to announce a settlement with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation that compensates property owners for their PFOA contamination and provides medical monitoring for eligible residents who drank contaminated water and have above background levels of PFOA in their blood.
The total settlement to be paid by Saint-Gobain is $34.15 million, including both compensation for eligible property owners (the Property Class) and up to $6 million for the medical monitoring program (the Exposure Class). The U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont must approve the settlement, including the method for allocating the money, before the settlement funds will be available and the medical monitoring program is established.
Under the settlement, compensation to the Property Class will be supervised by a court-approved special master, with amounts for individual property owners proposed to be based on several factors, including the value of the property before the contamination was discovered and whether the owners drank from a PFOA contaminated well. The medical monitoring program, also supervised by a court-approved administrator, will provide free testing and monitoring for certain medical conditions. The program will be based at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center using local physicians, but arrangements will also be made for eligible class members who have moved away.
“This settlement provides significant compensation and medical monitoring to the Bennington community affected by the PFOA contamination, and we strongly support it,” said James Sullivan, spokesperson for the named plaintiffs and class representatives. “We especially want to initiate the medical monitoring program as soon as possible.”