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City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto Sues Chemical Companies Over Toxic "Forever Chemicals"

Posted on 04/30/2024

(LOS ANGELES) – Today, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto announced that her office has filed a lawsuit against more than two dozen chemical companies, including 3M, DuPont, and Carrier, seeking accountability for contaminating City property and resources with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl materials (“PFAS”), toxic substances used in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. These substances are known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t readily break down in the environment and can build up in humans and animals. Feldstein Soto’s complaint, filed on behalf of the People of the State of California and the City of LA, seeks to abate and prevent the nuisance created by these chemicals, and seeks damages to compensate the City for remediation and testing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health, evidence links PFAS exposure to higher cholesterol, lower birth weights, kidney and testicular cancer, high blood pressure in pregnancy and preeclampsia, and liver inflammation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called PFAS an urgent public health and environmental issue.

“I am committed to protecting our residents and holding these companies accountable for the harm that their chemicals have inflicted upon our city,” said Hydee Feldstein Soto, Los Angeles City Attorney. “For decades, they knew the health and environmental hazards caused by their products but continued to market or sell them. Los Angelenos deserve better.” 

PFAS chemicals are used in hundreds of consumer and industrial products, including food and food packaging, stain-resistant or waterproof clothes, cookware, personal care products, building materials, and in the manufacture of aqueous film-forming foam (“AFFF”), a fire extinguishing agent used by the military and civilian airports to fight jet fuel fires.

City Attorney Feldstein Soto’s lawsuit is one of thousands filed by individuals, municipalities, and states across the country. In her complaint, she alleges that the defendants, with their extensive knowledge of the properties and risks of PFAS, knew that their products were toxic and would contaminate the environment, and actively sought to hide the truth from regulators and the public.

This litigation is being managed by the City Attorney’s Public Rights Branch with assistance by co-counsel from Keller Rohrback, LLP. Another environmental lawsuit - against Monsanto over PCB contamination in LA waterways - is continuing.

Civil case #24STCV09939: Link to Complaint
The People of the State of California vs. 3M Company, et al.


Hydee Feldstein Soto is the 43rd Los Angeles City Attorney, elected in November 2022 and sworn into office in December 2022. Her team of nearly 1,000 legal professionals, including 500+ attorneys, carries out legal work for the City of Los Angeles at her direction and under her supervision. She is the first female City Attorney in L.A. history.