BASF enters class settlement with U.S. public water systems
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BASF enters class settlement with U.S. public water systems

BASF will pay US$ 4 million on or about July 15, 2024, and US$ 312.5 million on March 1, 2025

  • By ICN Bureau | May 22, 2024

BASF Corporation, the North American affiliate of BASF SE, agreed to a settlement with a nationwide class of public water systems that detected PFAS in their drinking water sources, which they allege to be associated with the use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) products. 

Some of the AFFF products at issue in the litigation were made using a surfactant produced by Ciba Specialty Chemicals (Ciba), which BASF acquired in 2009.  In 2003, years before BASF acquired Ciba, Ciba sold that business line to another company.  Under the terms of the agreement, BASF has agreed to contribute $316.5 million ($312.5 million to resolve the PFAS claims, plus $4 million toward settlement administration costs).  The settlement releases these claims against BASF, Ciba, and other related corporate entities. 

This settlement was entered in connection with the previously disclosed AFFF multi-district litigation (MDL) being overseen by the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (the MDL Court).

BASF will pay US$ 4 million on or about July 15, 2024, and US$ 312.5 million on March 1, 2025.  BASF has a significant amount of insurance through a number of insurers and is pursuing recovery of its settlement payment under those policies.

There are still several procedural and legal steps that must occur before the settlement is final and payments are made.  The settlement is subject to approval by the MDL Court and other contingencies, and that process is expected to take several months.

The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing by BASF or Ciba.  If the MDL Court does not approve the agreement or certain terms are not fulfilled, BASF will continue to defend itself in the litigation.  BASF also intends to continue to defend itself in all remaining AFFF matters.

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