Farmer who lost all to PFAS inspires law to get a day in court

By Pat Rizzuto | Bloomberg Law | July 28, 2021

Read the full article by Pat Rizzuto (Bloomberg Law)

“The discovery of so-called forever chemicals on Fred Stone’s Maine dairy farm five years ago destroyed his business, hijacked his retirement plans, and saddled him with now-crushing debts, while spotlighting the potential for those substances to contaminate the food supply.

An ambiguity in Maine law prevented Stone from suing over the sludge containing the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that was spread on his land as fertilizer and contaminated his cows’ milk to the point he couldn’t sell it. But Stone’s plight helped inspire a law, signed last month by Gov. Janet T. Mills (D), clarifying that legal cases alleging damage or injury from PFAS can be filed up to six years after the harm was or could reasonably have been discovered.

That new law, in combination with a second new Maine statute requiring land and groundwater tests where sludge has been spread, may have ramifications outside the state, attorneys said. Other states, including Michigan and New Hampshire, are considering PFAS-specific policies for damage claims, and other states may follow, they said.

The law ‘doesn’t mean we’re going to prevail,’ said Stone, 65, who lives with his wife Laura on his family’s 107-year old farm in Arundel, Maine. ‘But, it makes it easier to get into the courtroom.’”…

This content provided by the PFAS Project.