Residents File Lawsuit Against Saint-Gobain Over Contaminated Wells

May 25, 2016

Residents with private wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack filed two class action cases Wednesday against the company. Saint-Gobain is the likely source of water contamination in the area, according to state officials. 

The lawsuits name Saint-Gobain and the Merrimack plant manager, Gwenael Busnel, as defendants. Litchfield resident Kevin Brown is the only plaintiff named in the case. Class members include all residents on a private well within two miles of the Saint-Gobain property line. Current employees of Saint-Gobain are not included in the case.

Both suits allege Saint-Gobain knew or should have known the contaminant, PFOA, was dangerous, and describe chemical release was “willful” and “wanton.”

The class members seek a jury trial, as well as compensation for remedial costs like water filtering systems, reductions in property values, and for the of enjoyment of their properties.

The second class action suit also seeks compensation for medical monitoring of all class members.

Individuals associated with the former Pease Air Force Base are also seeking funds for a medical monitoring program from the federal government. In 2014, well water there was found to contain a similar contaminant, PFOS, which leached into aquifers from firefighting foam.

To date, Saint-Gobain is paying for hundreds of residents to receive bottled water due to the contaminatio in Merrimack, Litchfield, and, as of Wednesday, Bedford.

Saint-Gobain is a French multinational company, with 170,000 employees and $50 billion in assets. The company has manufactured hazmat and architectural materials at their Merrimack plant since the 1990s.