The company responsible for toxic PFAS chemicals being a part of our everyday lives has agreed to a massive settlement with cities and municipalities that could provide some relief for residents that have been consuming the toxic chemicals. This fight is far from over, but this is a huge win for the plaintiffs. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The company responsible for toxic PFAS chemicals being a part of our everyday lives, has agreed to a massive settlement with cities and municipalities to give those folks relief. Full disclosure, that was my settlement. $12.5 billion, me and three other law firms negotiated that. But, you know, Farron, I started with this case seven years ago. Actually, you were following this case back then.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. It is quite remarkable, especially to see this settlement happen and you’ve been at the forefront. I can’t stress that enough to people to really understand this. This is an issue that has enveloped your life for a decade now.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Every day. This is something you have worked on. I’ve seen you, I’ve watched you. We’ve discussed it. And these chemicals, as we’ve said a hundred times on this program, they’re everywhere. And we’re just now starting to see a little bit of justice with this. So, you know, since you’ve got the knowledge of all of this.

Mike Papantonio: I’m glad talking about it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Lay this out.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I started with this case, me and Gary Douglas, a New York lawyer and a law firm up there that we do a lot of work with. We did the opioids with them, we launched the opioids case too. People don’t realize that because we don’t talk about it much. I mean, the opioids case end up settling for $42 billion. Now, first of all, everybody says, well, Pap, my God, you’re making all this money. Well, you know, we don’t keep $42 billion, and I don’t keep $12.5 billion that we settled the PFAS case with. But what we do is we’re able to do what government failed to do. Okay. We’re able to do what, well, what media failed to do. The best part, to me the most disgusting story of the whole PFAS, the $12.5 billion settlement that I just settled, is that the corporate media wouldn’t tell the story, you see.

Because so much advertising dollars was going in into MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABCs, they refused to tell the story. As a matter of fact, one time I was actually on the air getting ready to tell the story. It was with Ed Schultz and the story was stopped. It was stopped. You can’t tell this story. And so had we not worked at this for six years, seven years, none of this would happen. We’d still have PFAS in the drinking water. We can clean it up a lot. It’s in the environment for 1 million years. So the problem is this, if you have a river and you have PFAS that’s moved into the river, even if you scrape the soil down to try to get rid of some of it, it still recharges itself. So because of that, there has to be really, really good filtering system at the drinking water source.

So this allows the municipalities and some of these folks, and by the way, this is, you know, the projection is that this could be as many as $30 billion worth of a problem. But we made the first step. I started with DuPont in, with DuPont, I guess three weeks ago, four weeks ago, settled for $1.4 billion. And then 3M came in and they came to the table. They said, well, we gotta fix it after a lot of years, us beating the hell out of them. And, so anyway, we’re making progress. And that’s what corporations should do. You know, a responsible corporation says, look, we got this problem, it’s not gonna go away. We made some bad mistakes. The people making these decisions for them now, they’re not the people who made the decision to put this in the environment.

Farron Cousins: See, that’s a great point. I was actually just about to bring that up, because the people who did this, the people who actually said, yeah, go ahead, dump it out there. They’ve been gone from the company for decades, some of them. Many of them died years ago because these decisions were made, you know, in the fifties and the sixties. But the people there now are the ones who have to pay the price. And that’s actually the CEO mentality across corporate America today.

Mike Papantonio: And the CEO of this company right now, he’s very responsible. I mean, this guy, these folks that are running the show now, there’s no way on earth that they would’ve made the decisions that were made 50 years ago. No, there’s no way on earth they would’ve done that. But it’s like a musical chairs. Now they’re moving around and it’s caught ’em and so now they have to figure out how to get out of it. So attribute, you know, really attribute to them for saying, good on you. You know, you see that there’s a way to do this. Let’s get it done.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.